One-sixth of Astra is offered

One-sixth of Astra is offered

The initial public offering (IPO) in Astra satellite operator Societe Europeenne des Satellites (SES) has placed a LuxFr223.4bn (#3.5bn) value on the company.

All Astra shareholders, with the exception of Deutsche Telekom, have diluted their interests by making one-sixth of their holdings available for the IPO. Telekom has secured a dispensation allowing it to buy back its shares to keep its holding at 16.67%, making it still the satellite company’s largest private shareholder.

The offering was six times oversubscribed, according to SES.

Romain Bausch, director general, said: “The overall demand demonstrates the investor community’s recognition of our unique position and their belief in the growth prospects of the company.”

Shares have been launched on the Luxembourg Bourse and the London-based SEAQ International exchange.

SES currently has six satellites in use by European broadcasters and four more scheduled for launch between now and 2000, including capacity for BSkyB’s digital TV service.

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