Investment firm Permira buys ABS

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
Private equity firm Permira will buy a majority stake in capacity provider Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS), reportedly for over $200 million.
 
Permira and the ABS management team will acquire the stakes in Kingsbridge Capital - the holding company behind ABS - held by majority shareholder Citigroup Venture Capital, as well as those held by ADM Capital and some other shareholders. 
 
ABS provides bandwidth to broadcasters and telcos, with 80 wholesale customers in around 30 countries.
 
The company's three own-branded satellites in orbit currently cover 80% of the world's population, but it focuses on high growth markets in Asia, Russia, Africa and the Middle East.
 
The parties said the cash injection will help ABS fund its near-term initiative to build and launch the new ABS-2 satellite, which will be fixed over the eastern hemisphere. Another satellite launch is also in the pipeline.
 
European-based Permira has a history of satellite investments, having bought into Inmarsat, Intelsat and PanAmSat Holdings. It has since exited each of these.
 
It is also an investor in Hong Kong-listed Galaxy Entertainment, which owns StarWorld and other casinos in Macau, Spanish online travel firm eDreams and set-top company NDS.
 
While financial terms were not disclosed, sources close to the deal told Dow Jones the purchase price exceeds $200 million.

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