At Press Time: HNS Could Be Splintered
The expected sale of Germantown, Md.-based Hughes Network Systems by The DirecTV Group [DTV], of El Segundo, Calif., is likely to be finalized next month, and a strong possibility exists that different parts of the organization could be split off. One option for DirecTV, industry sources suggest, is for a financial buyer like Ft. Worth-based Texas Pacific Group to buy most of HNS and then sell off its operations in parts to others.
Chase Carey, The DirecTV Group’s president and CEO, said during a recent conference call with analysts that he expected HNS to be sold by the end of the third quarter. September marks the last month of the third quarter, and industry interest is growing regarding the fate of the world’s largest VSAT services provider. HNS also manufacturers VSAT terminals, it provide Ku-band satellite-based Internet connectivity to consumers and businesses, and it is developing the Ka-band SpaceWay project to provide enterprises with access to high-speed broadband. It’s looking as though SpaceWay likely will be kept by DirecTV to provide local channels, while the rest of the HNS empire would be sold piecemeal after the acquisition.