[Satellite News – 2-28-08] Israeli satellite operator Space-Communication Ltd
(Spacecom) attracted the attention of SES
in January, and the world's second largest satellite operator made a bid for the owners of the Amos constellation.
But Spacecom turned down SES's bid due to the price and the conditions of the deal. “Concerning the company's debts, including those related to Amos-3, and based on redemption of the company's warrants at their face value only, SES’ offer shows an asset value of the company's purchased operations at only around $100 million (pre-tax) and not $160 million as SES wrote in its approach,” Spacecom said in a statement. “In the board of director's opinion, this price does not reflect the company's value without Amos-4.”
Spacecom President and CEO David Pollack spoke with Satellite News about the operator’s growth strategy, the plans for Amos-3 and beyond, and how Spacecom will grow its business now that it has chosen to remain an independent regional operator.
Satellite News: How the SES situation been a distraction for Spacecom?Pollack
: My philosophy in running and operating a business is that there are never distractions. Every thing you do and every thing that comes to you are part of the business and must be dealt with properly. Thus, I do not see acquisition issues separate from the operation of a successful and exciting business.
Satellite News: Do you think Spacecom represents an attractive asset to other companies?Pollack
: Obviously we may be attractive to others, but our strategy is focused on growth.
Satellite News: How much capacity do you hope to pre-sell on the Amos-3 and Amos-4 satellites?Pollack
: Focusing on pre-sales for Amos-3 — we are very happy to have sold more than 80 percent before its scheduled launch and are meeting and exceeding all of our deadlines and milestones as we move towards the satellite’s launch to 4 degrees West, scheduled for the end of March or beginning of April. Amos-3 expands our TV channel neighborhoods in Central and Eastern Europe as well as provides an excellent channel of communications linking North America with the Middle East. Obviously we would like to fill up the satellite as much as possible.
In parallel, we are continuing to work on our Amos-4 program. We are researching and meeting potential partners and pursuing attractive options for our Asian network. Amos -4 will be a much larger satellite than Amos -1, -2 and -3 and thus we believe that its commercial capabilities are an important part of near future.
… Concerning new satellites – we are looking at a number of options – one of which includes launching Amos -5 prior to Amos -4 that is scheduled for delivery in 2012. This intermediate bird will be in our discussions during 2008.