Latest News

Intelsat and SES Talks End Without a Merger

By Rachel Jewett | June 21, 2023
Photo: SES

Photo: SES

Intelsat has ended talks of a potential merger with fellow satellite operator SES, a source close to the discussions told Via Satellite. SES confirmed in a press release Thursday morning that talks are over. 

Bloomberg first reported the news on Wednesday afternoon.  

Talk of a potential merger between the two satellite giants has long been rumored, and SES confirmed in March that talks were underway. 

But the two companies could not agree on certain business fundamentals, the source said. 

SES said in a statement to Via Satellite that there was no certainty talks would result in a deal. “The board was committed to acting in the best interests of SES and its shareholders. It has become clear that a path to an agreement which would be acceptable to SES and Intelsat cannot be found, and so both parties have ceased discussions,” a representative for SES said.

Intelsat said in a statement to Via Satellite that the company does not comment on potential mergers. “Intelsat engages in strategic conversations with potential partners on a regular basis, and we do not publicly comment on the content or outcome of those discussions,” the company said. 

This news comes about a week after SES CEO Steve Collar announced his departure from the company. Analysts called the timing “odd,” as it comes in the middle of the operator’s O3b mPOWER launch campaign, and theorized it could be related to talks with Intelsat. 

It ends speculation and back-and-forth about a potential deal between the two largest satellite operators. The satellite industry is going through a period of consolidation to compete with SpaceX’s Starlink constellation and Amazon’s planned Kuiper constellation. Viasat, for example, just closed its acquisition of Inmarsat, and Eutelsat is going through a deal to combine with Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) operator OneWeb. 

Many satellite CEOs have spoken generally in favor of industry consolidation, including Intelsat CEO David Wajsgras and outgoing SES CEO Collar

This story was updated Thursday morning with confirmation and a statement from SES.