Advanced Television

SES borrows €300m from EIB

January 12, 2023

Satellite operator SES has borrowed €300 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB). SES is currently in the middle of a considerable capital-intensive satellite building programme. The full terms of the loan are not revealed but are likely to be highly competitive and are reportedly for seven years.

The cash will go towards the procurement of three satellites from Thales Alenia Space to deliver video broadcasting as well as network services. Operating from SES’s prime TV neighbourhood of 19.2 degrees East (ASTRA 1P, ASTRA 1Q) and 57 degrees East (SES-26).

However, SES is also paying for its new fleet of eleven O3b mPOWER satellites which are currently being delivered by Boeing and all of which will be in place by this coming winter.

It is also buying new satellites for the US C-band replacement programme. The costs of these C-band satellites will be refunded by the FCC. At the end of this year the FCC will also pay almost $3 billion to SES as compensation for the operator giving up key frequencies for the development of 5G over the US.

The seven-year term EIB loan will back investments related to the design, procurement and launch of three announced satellites that will deliver advanced broadcast and broadband services spanning Western Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The loan is the largest amount ever provided by the EIB to a Luxembourg-based company.

Sandeep Jalan, Chief Financial Officer of SES, said: “We are very happy to have secured this term loan from the European Investment Bank. This diversifies SES’s sources of financing on attractive financial terms. The agreement enables us to deliver on our commitment to broadcast high-quality content from our prime TV neighbourhood serving 118 million TV households across France, Germany and Western Europe. These next-generation satellites are also able to support the most ambitious plans for companies and governments across Europe and beyond, enabling them to enter the new era of networked connectivity services.”

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