LORAL SPACE & Communications has agreed to buy AT&T's Skynet Satellite Services business for $712.5 million (£475 million) in cash.

The deal includes AT&T's network of Telstar C- and Ku-band communications-satellites, and is Loral's first acquisition since the company disposed of its aerospace and defence businesses to Lockheed Martin.

Loral says that Skynet is one of the three leading US domestic satellite-service providers and will serve as a "critical building block" in its plans for worldwide satellite-network services.

AT&T describes Skynet as a strong and growing business, but "...not central to our new strategy". Loral is developing the Globalstar low-earth-orbit satellite-telephone and CyberStar geostationary-orbit data-communications networks.

Only days before the Loral deal, Hughes Electronics agreed to buy satellite operator PanAmSat for $3 billion in cash and stock, and to create a new satellite-services company operating Hughes and PanAmSat spacecraft.

The Hughes/PanAmSat merger will create the second-largest communications-satellite network in the world after Government-owned Intelsat, with 14 spacecraft in orbit and seven more scheduled for launch.


Source: Flight International