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Measat CEO Says Company is Open to Partnerships

By Mark Holmes | October 28, 2013
Paul Brown Kenyon

Paul Brown Kenyon. Photo: Measat

[Via Satellite 10-28-13] In a recent interview with Eutelsat’s CEO Michel de Rosen, he spoke of the company evaluating a number of potential acquisitions before securing the $1.1 billion deal for Satmex. He mentioned companies such as Optus, Measat Satellite Systems, and Hellas-Sat coming under its consideration.

While Hellas-Sat was eventually sold to Arabsat, the future of Optus and Measat are very much open to discussion. Measat is an interesting operator with a strong position in the lucrative DTH markets in Asia, as well as growing a presence in Africa. Paul Brown-Kenyon, Measat’s CEO told Via Satellite that the company could potentially look at a partnership with another operator.

“Measat is always looking at options to build the business. Over the last few years we have pursued this through buying additional spacecraft – we have Measat 3b, which is planned for launch early 2014,” Brown-Kenyon said. “We have also done this through joint ventures and cooperation with the likes of Thaicom, Azercosmos and Newsat. We are always open to partnerships with operators at a strategic level. We are always evaluating opportunities and if it makes sense, we will consider the opportunity.”

Measat has had a busy year, with the highlight coming early in the year with the launch of the Azerspace 1/Africasat 1a satellite. The $300 million spacecraft was developed as the result of collaboration between Measat and Azercosmos Joint Stock Company (Azercosmos), a company set up by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The deal with Azercosmos is an example of Measat’s creativity as well as the trend of “copetition,” which Brown-Kenyon highlights as one of the key tendencies in the satellite industry right now. “What we are seeing in this region is a lot more coopetition. One of my ex-professors at Yale (Barry Nalebuff) coined the term to describe situations where companies may be strong competitive rivals in one area, but work together in another. Measat has been one of the pioneers of this approach in the satellite industry through our cooperations with Azercosmos, Thaicom and Newsat,” he said. “You are now seeing others take this approach with the likes of SES and Thaicom working together, and Thaicom and AsiaSat working together. It is an interesting trend. It complicates the competitive landscape in many ways, but I think it is good for the industry.”

Brown-Kenyon also sees a good opportunity for the company in DTH markets in Asia. “DTH has, and will continue to show, phenomenal growth. DTH growth in markets such as Malaysia, India and Indonesia has been constrained recently due to the lack of availability of capacity. We see this changing over the next few years with the launch for example of Measat 3b and Measat 3c.”