Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Telesat Sale Could Net up to $7 Billion

According to the November 20th, 2010 Bloomberg article "Telesat Said to Seek Buyers, Sale May Bring Up to 7 Billion," the closely held Canadian icon has brought in JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse Group AG to begin the formal sales process and offer so-called "staple financing" to interested buyers in order to help expedite the sale of the company.

According to Investopedia, staple financing is essentially a package providing a listing of the supposed benefits of an acquisition plus a prearranged financing component and normally allows bank funding the acquisition to garner fees from both sides of the merger by providing advice to the seller and lending to the buyer.

According to the article:
While an auction hasn’t officially begun, Ottawa-based Telesat has been approached by Intelsat SA, the people said. Intelsat, owned by private-equity funds BC Partners Ltd. and Silver Lake, has hired Bank of America Corp. as an adviser and may name others to pursue a bid..
With many of the prospective buyers for Telesat from outside Canada, the possibility exists that the Canadian government might block the sale.

Earlier this month, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government blocked a US$40 billion bid by Australia’s BHP Billiton for Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, the world’s largest fertilizer company. In 2008 the same government blocked the sale of the space focused assets from BC based MacDonald Dettwiler (MDA) to US firm Alliant Techsystems (ATK).

The Telesat Satellite fleet
Telesat is presently co-owned by New York-based Loral Space & Communications Inc. and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board. It is the world’s fourth- largest satellite company and one of the "Three Kings" of Canadian commercial space activities.

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