Eutelsat "unanimously" rejects $3.2bn Drahi takeover bid
French satellite company Eutelsat has officially rejected a $3.2 billion takeover bid from billionaire telecoms investor Patrick Drahi.
When industry rumours began swirling on Wednesday 29 September, the company released a statement addressing the speculation, saying "Pursuant to market rumours, Eutelsat Communications confirms that it has received an unsolicited, preliminary and non-binding proposal from Patrick Drahi in connection with a potential transaction on all of the company’s share capital. The relevant governance bodies of Eutelsat Communications have unanimously decided not to engage in discussions based on the terms of this proposal."
Following confirmation of a proposal from Drahi, by Thursday 30 September, Eutelsat confirmed that the deal had been rejected.
"Eutelsat Communications confirms that the proposal received from Mr Patrick Drahi - and rejected unanimously by the relevant governance bodies of the company - prices Eutelsat at €12.10 per share, all dividend attached," read the statement.
The offered price of €12.10 per share, values the company at approximately €2.8 billion ($3.2 billion) and at a premium of 17% based of Eutelsat’s Wednesday closing price of €10.35.
With a portfolio of approximately 39 satellites across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Americas, Eutelsat is part owned by the French government and sells capacity to broadcasters, delivers broadband services and connectivity for terrestrial, maritime and in-flight applications.
As of April of this year, the company made a $550 million investment in satellite company OneWeb, for a 24% stake. Eutelsat now joins the likes of Bharti Global, the UK government and SoftBank as investors in the company.
More recently Drahi's Next Alt S.à r.l, through its subsidiary Altice UK, has purchased a 12% stake in UK incumbent telco, BT, valued at approximately £2.2 billion ($3.1 billion). As such Altice UK and by extension Drahi is now BT’s biggest shareholder with the acquisition of 1.2 billion shares.