Hungarian telecommunications company and aspiring satellite operator 4iG Plc has proposed to buy 51 per cent of Israeli operator AMOS Spacecom. The deal is reportedly valued at US$65 million (Israeli New Shekel NIS215 million). This values AMOS shares 68 per cent higher than the average over the previous six months. Any deal will have to be approved by the Israeli government, AMOS shareholders and certain contracted third parties. There is a mid-August deadline for such approvals, which allows for a relatively quick completion process later in the year.
4iG has traditionally been IT and ICT focused but more recently has turned its attention to satellite communications. Since August last year it has owned 51 per cent of a national joint venture, CarpathiaSat, which intends to develop and launch a domestic GEO communications satellite to service Hungary. This satellite is destined for the Hungarian GEO slot at 4 degrees West. It is no coincidence that this is a slot currently utilised by AMOS, whose AMOS-3 and AMOS-7 (ASIASAT-8) satellites are located there. When the new Hungarian satellite is launched in 2024 (as the current plan suggests), it will be able to back up/replace AMOS-3 which will by then be 16 years old.
Following the purchase, AMOS will be able to provide input on development of the new satellite. Specifically, AMOS has said that it will help develop “the new satellite’s traits and characteristics”.