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New Skies Sold For A Billion Dollars

the big iron of IT is still where the big profits are to be made
The Hague (SPX) Jun 07, 2004
New Skies Satellites N.V., the global satellite communications company, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of the Company to affiliates of The Blackstone Group, a leading private investment firm, for $956 million in cash, equivalent to approximately $7.96 per fully diluted share.

The Blackstone transaction has received unanimous approval from the Supervisory and Management Boards of New Skies, who intend to recommend it to the Company's shareholders.

"The decision of Blackstone to acquire New Skies is a reflection of the strength of the business and our prospects as well as the dedication and expertise of our employees," said Dan Goldberg, chief executive officer of New Skies.

"This agreement also provides significant value for our shareholders, representing a 14% premium over the price of our stock on April 28th, the day before we announced that we were considering our alternatives, and a 27% premium to the average share price during the twelve months leading up to that date.

"The Management and Supervisory Boards have considered a number of options to maximize shareholder value, and have concluded that the offer from Blackstone is in the best interests of New Skies' shareholders, employees and customers.

With the strong backing of Blackstone and its extensive experience investing in, and partnering with, telecommunications and media companies, we will have the best possible foundation on which to grow our business in the coming years," said Goldberg.

"We are excited to be acquiring New Skies, a world class satellite operator with strong long-term fundamentals," said Lawrence H. Guffey, senior managing director of Blackstone and co-head of Blackstone Communications Partners. "We are particularly pleased to be allying ourselves with Dan Goldberg and the rest of the New Skies team, who have an outstanding track record of success."

The sale of the Company will involve the transfer of New Skies' business and operations to Blackstone and the distribution of the cash proceeds to New Skies shareholders. The sale will be structured as a sale of New Skies' assets and liabilities. New Skies' business activities will be continued under ownership by Blackstone and all employment obligations will be honored.

A circular with information on the transaction will be mailed to shareholders within approximately one week and an Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders will be held within approximately 40 days.

Once the applicable regulatory approvals have been received and certain financing and other customary conditions have been satisfied, New Skies anticipates that the sale would be completed, and an initial distribution of approximately 95% of the sale proceeds paid to shareholders.

This process is currently expected to conclude by approximately the end of 2004 or early 2005. A final distribution of the remaining proceeds will be made shortly thereafter. The text of the agreement with The Blackstone Group can be found on New Skies' website.

Goldman Sachs & Co. and N M Rothschild & Sons Limited served as financial advisors to New Skies, and Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek N.V. served as its legal advisers.

Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. served as financial advisors to Blackstone, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and NautaDutilh N.V. served as its legal advisors. Deutsche Bank and ABN AMRO are providing acquisition financing for the transaction.

New Skies Satellites is one of only four fixed satellite communications companies with truly global satellite coverage, offering video, data, voice and Internet communications services to a range of telecommunications carriers, broadcasters, large corporations, Internet service providers and government entities around the world. New Skies has five satellites in orbit, ground facilities around the world and one additional spacecraft under construction.

The company also has secured certain rights to make use of additional orbital positions for future growth. New Skies is headquartered in The Hague, The Netherlands, and has offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Sydney and Washington, D.C. Additional information is available at

The Blackstone Group, a private investment and advisory firm with offices in New York, Atlanta, Boston, London and Hamburg, was founded in 1985. The firm has raised a total of approximately $32 billion for alternative asset investing since its formation.

Over $14 billion of that has been for private equity investing, including Blackstone Capital Partners IV, the largest institutional private equity fund ever raised at $6.45 billion, and Blackstone Communications Partners I, the largest dedicated communications and media fund at over $2.0 billion.

In addition to Private Equity Investing, The Blackstone Group's core businesses are Private Real Estate Investing, Corporate Debt Investing, Marketable Alternative Asset Management, Corporate Advisory, and Restructuring and Reorganization Advisory.

Related Links
New Skies Satellites
Blackstone Group
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PanAmSat To Be Acquired by KKR In $4.3 Billion Transaction
El Segundo - Apr 20, 2004
PanAmSat Corp. and its 80.5 percent stakeholder, The DirecTV Group, Inc., announced Tuesday that they have signed a definitive transaction agreement with affiliates of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. ("KKR") for the sale of PanAmSat Corp. at $23.50 in cash per share. The aggregate transaction value, including the assumption of approximately $750 million of net debt, is approximately $4.3 billion.

KMS/FalconStream and NewSat Introduce Internet Hub For Broadband Across Middle East
CAIRO (SPX) May 07, 2004
New Skies Satellites and KMS/FalconStream announced Thursday a new two-way satellite IP hub for the Middle East, which will access New Skies' NSS-6 satellite. The hub will be provided by Australian satellite broadband specialist, NewSat.

India Signs With New Skies For Multi-Transponder Agreement
Delhi (SPX) Apr 29, 2004
New Skies Satellites and Indian Space Research Organization have signed an agreement for multiple high-powered 36 Mhz Ku-band transponders on the NSS-6 satellite. The capacity will support the launch of the world's largest free-to-air DTH service for Doordarshan, India's national broadcaster.

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