In SSI’s Space Industry Focus series we examine the past, present and future of major space organisations. This month, Tim Fuller examines Israeli Satellite operator, Amos Spacecom.
Amos Spacecom is an Israeli satellite communications company listed on the Israeli stock exchange. Formally known as Space Communications Limited, and better known as Amos Spacecom or Amos by Spacecom, the company officially trades as Spacecom. The company is controlled by the privately owned Israeli firm Eurocom Holdings (1979) Limited, which owns 64.4% of the stock. In December 2013 Spacecom hired an investment bank to evaluate sale or merger options. Hispasat has been linked to the firm as a possible buyer. In a bid to internationalise its business, Spacecom now trades from Cyprus.
Established in 1994, Spacecom is a fixed satellite service operator with a fleet of four ‘Amos’ satellites. It launched its first satellite in May 1996 to its 4 degrees West hot spot.
Spacecom has recently announced a new trading relationship with Eutelsat at the 16-17 degrees East location (announced 19 November 2014). As part of the agreement, the two companies will coordinate capacity and share revenue on Eutelsat 16A and Amos-5 with a focus on the Central and Western African markets.
Results and Outlook
The company posted a revenue for 2013 of Israeli New Shekels ILS342m (US$98m), 2.7% up on 2012. The company is ambitious, with a strategy to expand its business. Currently 44% of revenue is from Israel, a decline from 51% just a year earlier, the gap being filled by impressive growth in the African market. Fleet expansion is also planned, see the Fleet Plans section.
In 2013 Spacecom secured US$293m in loans for Amos-6 development from the Canadian (for the MDA communications payload) and US (for the SpaceX launch booking) Export Credit Agencies.
Spacecom provides satellite communications services for TV broadcast and communications services at 4 degrees West and at 17 and 65 degrees East. Amos-4 at 65 East and the forthcoming Amos-6 (2015) at 4 degrees West will also provide significant Ka-band capacity in addition to the existing Ku- and C-band offerings. The company is focused on Israeli, European and African markets.
Spacecom has an active fleet development programme. Having launched Amos-4 in 2013, Amos-5 is currently on order and due for launch in 2015. Amos-5 will replace Amos-2 at 4 degrees West, but will have a considerably increased Ku-band capacity in addition to its new Ka-band capacity.
Comment by Tim Fuller: David Pollack, the company’s CEO states that there will be three launches in the next five years, implying two more satellite orders are in the pipeline. Historically the company purchases satellites from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), although IAI lost out to ISS Reshetnev on Amos-5 launched in 2011. Amos-4, which was built by IAI, and launched in 2013, was built as a dual use asset with the Israeli government.
This story was first published in Seradata SpaceTrak Briefings which contains full briefings on most of the major space operators.