By Stuart Thomson
Hungarian IT and telecom player 4iG and two subsidiaries, Hungaro DigiTel and joint venture CarpathiaSat, have entered into a preliminary agreement with Spacecom to acquire a 51 per cent majority stake in the Israeli satellite operator.
Spacecom, which is listed on the Tel Aviv stock exchange, operates four geosynchronous satellites, including Amos 3, which provices providing in Hungary and the surrounding region.
Amos 3 has been providing services in the GEO orbit held by Hungary under international agreements. The lease contract between SpaceCom and the Hungarian State expires in 2024. After the lease period, CarpathiaSat, a joint venture between 4iG, Antenna Hungária and New Space Industries., aims to launch a new commercial satellite on the Amos 3 orbital segment. The acquisition of SpaceCom would therefore support the strategic plans of CarpathiaSat.
4iG was recently in the news thanks to its acquisition of Romanian and international service provider RCS & RDS’s Hungarian operation, Digi Távközlési Szolgáltató and its subsidiaries Invitel and I TV.
Digi provides services to more than 1.1 million subscribers nationwide and registered over 2.5 million revenue-generating units as of December 31, 2020.
The successful completion of the Spacecom transaction is conditional upon approval by Spacecom’s shareholders and the Israeli Ministry of Communications. According to 4iG, the transaction is estimated to be worth US$65 million.
4iG, Hungaro DigiTel and CarpathiaSat will acquire Spacecom through a private placement. A non-binding agreement on the details of the transaction was announced by the parties on the Budapest and Tel Aviv stock exchanges.
Spacecom, which operates the Amos 3, 4, 7, and 17 satellites, had revenues of U$88 million and EBITDA of U$52 million in 2020. The company currently has a contracted backlog of US$300 million.
Completion of due diligence is expected by August and the deal is expected to close in the autumn.
“Following a preliminary agreement with Spacecom, I am confident that we will be able to complete the transaction this autumn, which would also mean that the 4iG Group has successfully completed its first international acquisition. I consider this transaction as a milestone not only in the growth of our group, but also in the preparation of an agreement that could open new doors for Hungary in the space industry and space telecommunications,” said CEO of 4iG, Gellért Jászai.
“Spacecom’s decades of technological experience, innovative solutions, global market knowledge and professional staff can provide CarpathiaSat with a high level of support for the development and launch of the first Hungarian commercial satellite. Thus, the acquisition is an important step for us in terms of knowledge transfer and the development of international strategic partnerships.”