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“Early settlement” to Eutelsat/SES dispute?

February 11, 2013

By Chris Forrester

Eutelsat and Luxembourg-based SES are involved in a bitter dispute over who owns the 28.5 degrees East orbital slot. On February 8th, Eutelsat’s CEO Michel de Rosen declined to add any sort of update to the problem other than to remind analysts that the dispute was now before the International Chamber of Commerce.

Two separate arbitration actions are running, the first – and older – is between Eutelsat and Deutsche Telekom. The second is between Eutelsat and SES. De Rosen said: “We believe our rights are solid. Therefore we do not need to create any [financial] provision. This is still what we believe, and have no further comment.”

While Eutelsat is staying very tight-lipped on the topic, Morgan Stanley, an investment bank, in a note to clients February 11th, hints that some sort of settlement might be in the air. The bank says “We believe the possibility of an early settlement cannot be excluded”.

Morgan Stanley’s statement covers a multitude of possibilities, and it is known that Eutelsat and SES have had several courteous meetings, and thus a settlement could emerge, but to date, there’s no indication that either side is giving anything away in terms of the eventual decision.


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