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SES agrees full buyout of O3b Networks

O3b NetworksSatellite operator SES has agreed to buy 100% of broadband satellite operator O3b Networks, having received all of the necessary regulatory approvals.

SES will pay US$730 million to increase its ownership of O3b from 49.1% to 100%, using proceeds from the company’s recent equity raising.

On completion, SES said it will consolidate US$1.2 billion of O3b net debt and will refinance a “significant proportion” of the most expensive debt facilities, using its recent hybrid bond issuance and the remaining proceeds from its equity raising.

The deal will expand SES’s global reach and satellite-enabled solutions and will enhance its “foundations for sustainable growth”, according to the company.

It also estimated the deal will generate €53 million of annual commercial, operational, product development and financial synergies in 2017, increasing to €106 million annually by 2021.

SES president and CEO, Karim Michel Sabbagh, said the deal will be “highly accretive for SES, both from a strategic and economic standpoint.”

“In addition to exceeding SES’s investment hurdle rates, full consolidation accelerates the delivery of important transformational and combinational synergies that are only possible with 100% ownership,” he said.

SES chief finance officer, Padraig McCarthy, added: “The acquisition of O3b – the fastest growing satellite network – significantly enhances SES’s long-term growth profile, with the constellation expected to generate annualised revenues of between USD 32 million and USD 36 million per satellite at steady-state.”

The news comes after SES raised €908.8 million in May to fund its acquisition of the part of O3b Networks that it didn’t already own.

The deal is now expected to close on August 1, 2016.

Tags: O3b Networks, SES