(Adds valuation and possible buy-out)
MADRID, April 24 Spanish infrastructure firm
Abertis said its Hispasat affiliate is bidding for a
majority stake in Israeli satellite operator Space Communication
to boost its international exposure.
Abertis built a majority 57 percent stake in Hispasat last
year and wants to expand the world's eighth largest satellite
operator's international business.
Abertis is working on the final terms of a deal to buy a
controlling stake in Spacecom being sold by its main shareholder
Eurocom Communications Ltd. of Israel but Abertis said it had
yet to reach a deal.
Eurocom, owned by Israeli businessman Shaul Elovitch, has a
64.4 percent stake in Spacecom, with a market capitalisation of
around 280 million euros ($387 million).
Spanish newspaper Expansion said on Thursday that Abertis's
bid for Spacecom valued the company at 350 million euros, or a
25 percent premium, and that Abertis would buy out the remaining
shares and delist the company if its bid were successful.
Abertis declined to comment on a possible buy-out.
Renta4 analysts said a 350 million-euro valuation would
represent an EV/EBITDA (enterprise value to core earnings) ratio
of 5.4 times.
Spacecom operates four satellites with coverage in Europe,
the Middle East and the Atlantic ocean. Hispasat has six
satellites with a strong presence in Latin America. It plans to
launch four new satellites in the next two years to become the
world's fifth largest operator.
($1 = 0.7231 Euros)
(Reporting by Teresa Larraz and Tracy Rucinski; Editing by
Fiona Ortiz and Jane Merriman)