Yahsat buys Thuraya adding two satellites to its offering

Middle Eastern satellite provider Yahsat has entered into an agreement that will see it buy a majority stake in rival Thuraya as it looks to boost its global footprint.

The acquisition of Thuraya, which is the United Arab Emirates first home-grown satellite operator, will add two new satellites serving 140 countries to the Yahsat portfolio, taking its fleet to a total of five.

The deal will give Yahsat the ability to offer satellite services across the C, Ka, Ku and L-bands to customers in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South America and Asia.

The combined firm will offer a range of services in telecoms including voice and data communications to both the commercial and government sectors, Yahsat said, allowing it to “explore potential growth opportunities”.

No fee was disclosed for the potential transaction, which Yahsat said it expects to close after unspecified customary conditions have been met. The deal will also be subject to regulatory approvals.

Yahsat is headquarted in Abu Dhabi and is wholly-owned by the Mubadala Investment Company, part of the government of Abu Dhabi. It recently launched Al Yah 3, expanding its Ka-band coverage to an additional 20 markets.

The satellite telecoms market has been growing, according to a market research report, showing 6.3% growth between 2013 and 2018. The likes of OneWeb, which is set to launch a satellite internet constellation next year, could boost this further.

This has led to a number of consolidation moves, including the proposal from OneWeb to buy Intelsat that collapsed last year.

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