News Operators Satellite

SES and Intelsat in potential merger talks

News of the potential tie-up comes as SES has announced its first half results.

Satellite operators SES and Intelsat are in merger talks, the Financial Times has reported.

According to FT, the two companies are in active discussions about the structure of a potential deal.


The report follows Eutelsat’s announcement two weeks ago that it planned to acquire UK-based LEO constellation player OneWeb in a deal that values $4.38bn.

SES and Intelsat are both traditional geostationary Earth orbit satellite providers with legacy video businesses but have decided to invest in medium Earth orbit (MEO) constellations to deliver an expected upsurge in demand for satellite-enabled data communications rather than go down the more capital-intensive LEO route.

In its report, the FT said that a merger between SES and Intelsat would create a group with annual revenues of around $4bn. It added that SES has a market capitalisation of $3.63bn and is carrying $3.67bn in net debt, while Intelsat emerged from bankruptcy earlier this year with a debt of $7bn.

Intelsat, following its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, now has as a major investor, the Munich-based financial service company Allianz.

SES recently also acquired DRS GES, a provider of government solutions that SES believes will play well with its MEO capabilities.

Both companies are now based in Luxembourg, potentially simplifying a merger involving SES, in which the Luxembourg government has a significant equity stake.