Spacecom up for sale, again
April 26, 2017
By Chris Forrester
Spacecom is again looking for a buyer. Acquisition talks – and a preliminary agreement – with Beijing Zinwei Technology Group have reportedly “fizzled out”.
Beijing Zinwei had agreed to pay Spacecom $285 million in August last year for its Amos fleet of orbiting assets. That deal was damaged when a SpaceX rocket blew up catastrophically back in September 2016 with the Spacecom-owned Amos-6 satellite destroyed in the conflagration.
However, as recently as December Spacecom was saying that talks with its Chinese buyers were still taking place. At the time a figure of $190 million was reportedly given as the new price being discussed.
Since then, Spacecom has leased AsiaSat-8 from its Hong Kong owners and renamed it Amos-7 and reallocated its clients from Amos-2 onto the rented satellite. Spacecom is paying $22 million a year for the lease of Amos-7, and intends making use of the satellite for some 3.5 years, during which it will order a new satellite.
Spacecom also has Amos-17 under construction with Boeing, and this is due for launch in 2019.
However, one of the other major consequences of the lost Amos-6 catastrophe was the loss of a valuable deal with social media operator Facebook, which had leased capacity (via Eutelsat) on Amos-6. That business has been lost, according to Jacob Keret, Spacecom’s SVP/sales & marketing, EMEA, in a report in trade mag Space News.