June 26, 2008 10:51 ET


BARCELONA, SPAIN--(Marketwire - June 26, 2008) - European antitrust authorities have given their unconditional authorisation to the agreement whereby abertis, via its telecommunications company abertis telecom, will hold a 28.4% stake in Hispasat. The deal, which makes abertis the largest shareholder in the Spanish satellite operator, was announced on 31 October 2007, following the execution of a purchase agreement between abertis, Ensafeca Holding Empresarial (formerly Auna) and BBVA, shareholders in Hispasat. In February, the Spanish government also agreed to authorise the deal.

The acquisition of the stakes held by Ensafeca Holding Empresarial (17.6%) and BBVA (10.8%) in Hispasat will entail an outlay for abertis telecom of EUR 199Mn. The deal will be financed initially with short-term lines of credit, which will subsequently be taken out with long-term financing.

Hispasat currently operates a fleet of five communications satellites with orbital positions providing coverage in Europe and North and South America to 100% of the Spanish-speaking and 90% of the Portuguese-speaking markets. In 2007, Hispasat recorded revenue of around EUR 128Mn, EBITDA of EUR 101Mn and net profit of EUR 36Mn.

abertis telecom's acquisition of a direct stake in Hispasat reinforces the strategy initiated with the purchase in January 2007 of 32% of Eutelsat, which in turn owns 27.69% of Hispasat, to round off its position in the terrestrial signal transmission network with a satellite transmission network and broaden the geographical scope of abertis' telecommunications business.

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