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Intelsat reportedly looking to sell assets

intelsatSatellite operator is exploring a sale of some of its assets and has approached rival Eutelsat and Liberty Media to gauge interest, according to a Financial Times report.

The article, which cites people familiar with the matter, claims that Intelsat is mulling the sale of some of its assets in order to pay off a portion of its US$14 billion debt.

Other potential buyers include rival satellite operators SES and Telesat, said the FT. However, it cautioned that talks were still at a preliminary stage and that Intelsat may decide not to make a sale.

The report claims that private equity firms BC Partners and Silver Lake, which completed a buyout of Intelsat in 2008, are eager to sell some assets to reduce the satellite operator’s debt.

The private equity companies bought Intelsat through an entity called Serafina Holdings for an enterprise valuation of US$16.6 billion. This included US$11.15 billion of debt as of the end of September 2007 and US$3.85 billion in incremental debt incurred to complete the transaction.

In its second quarter earnings statement, Intelsat reported long-term debt, net of its current portion, of US$14.76 billion. Second quarter revenue was US$598.1 million and net income attributable to Intelsat was US$60.2 million.