The $3.2 billion takeover of US broadcasting service provider PanAmSat by Washington DC-based international communications satellite operator Intelsat will create the world’s largest civilian constellation with a total fleet of 53 satellites.

After signing the definitive merger agreement, Intelsat will become a company serving customers in 220 countries and territories and with pro forma annual revenues of $1.9 billion.

The closest competitor in terms of constellation size will be Paris, France-based Eutelsat, which operates 23 satellites.

However, the constellation is much smaller – in terms of numbers – than Iridium’s low Earth orbit mobile communications network, which totals 77 satellites.

“PanAmSat’s shareholders will receive a payout of $25 per share – nearly a 40% premium over the initial price offer six months ago,” says PanAmSat chief executive Joseph Wright.

Wright will become chairman and Intelsat chief executive David McGlade will carry on in his post.

Source: Flight International