EC Clears Abertis Acquisition Of Hispasat
[Satellite News – 6-26-08] The European Commission (EC) has cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control over Spain’s Hispasat by Abertis and a group of Spanish state-owned entities, the EC announced June 26.
Abertis, a Spanish industrial group, reached an agreement in October to acquire a 28.4 percent stake Hispasat, buying shared controlled by Ensafeca Holding Empresarial and BBVA. When announced, the transaction was valued at 199 million euros ($310.1 million).
Hispasat operates a fleet of five satellites covering Europe and the American continent and reach 100 percent of the global Spanish-speaking market and 90 percent of the Portuguese-speaking market. The EC market investigation found that the parties do not compete in any given sector, but the deal would raise the question of vertical overlaps because companies that provide audiovisual signal transport (like Abertis) buy satellite capacity from satellite operators. However, the investigation showed that even if Abertis were to close off access to Hispasat’s services, Hispasat’s competitors have spare capacity in Spain, the EC said.
The Spanish government approved the deal in February and the acquisition, along with the January 2007 purchase of a 32 percent stake in Eutelsat, broadens the geographical scope of Abertis’ telecoms business.