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Spanish Motorway Group Abertis Buys 32 Percent Of Eutelsat

Eutelsat uses capacity on 23 satellites and provides services covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India and large areas of Asia and the American continent.
by Staff Writers
Madrid (AFP) Dec 05, 2006
Spanish motorway group Abertis said on Tuesday that it had agreed to pay 1.07 billion euros (1.42 billion dollars) for 32.0 percent of European satellite operator Eutelsat, becoming the biggest shareholder. Abertis said it had reached an agreement with investment funds owning shares in Eutelsat, naming the funds as Nebozzo, Cinven and Goldman Sachs.

The deal is subject to agreement from competition authorities.

Abertis said that the investment would strengthen its activities in France and would increase the international scope of its telecommunications division.

Abertis, which is currently involved in a project to merge with Italian motorway group Autostrade, said that it planned to finance the investment in Eutelsat with a bridging loan.

Eutelsat Communications is the holding company behind Eutelsat S.A., one of the three leading world satellite operators in terms of sales.

Eutelsat uses capacity on 23 satellites and provides services covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India and large areas of Asia and the American continent.

Investment fund Eurazeo owns 25.5 percent via two portfolio companies, Nebozzo owned 15.4 percent, Cinven 11.6 percent and Goldman Sachs 7.1 percent. The remaining 33.2 percent of the company is diversely held through the stock market.

In the first quarter of the financial year to September 2007, the company reported a 6.0-percent increase in sales over 12 months to 199.5 million euros.

Shares in Abertis gained 0.75 percent to 21.59 euros in midmorning trading on the Madrid stock exchange.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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