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Satnews Daily
August 12th, 2019

Forrester Reports: EchoStar + DISH Network Merger Underway and AsiaSat's Numbers

EchoStar’s broadcast satellite services (BSS) subsidiary will start its formal merger process with ‘sister’ business DISH Network on August 19 with a share issue to existing shareholders, according to a posting by journalist Chris Forrester at the Advanced Television infosite.

The pair announced their merger on May 20, 2019.

Chris Forrester.

Based on the number of shares of EchoStar Class A and Class B common stock outstanding on August 8th, 2019, EchoStar stockholders would receive approximately 0.24 of a share of DISH Class A common stock for each share of EchoStar Class A or Class B common stock held by such EchoStar stockholder as a result of these transactions.

The formal merger will then go ahead once the share distribution has taken place, on or about September 10.

Additionally, Chris is reporting that Hong Kong-based AsiaSat, which is in the process of being taken private, has announced their latest, half-year numbers, which indicate revenues fell 5 percent [from HK$730 million (€83.28 million) to HK$693 million] from the same period last year.

The company said that the impact of continued pricing pressures from capacity oversupply in some key markets and increased competition from terrestrial networks created the problem. However, profits were up 4 percent (from HK$215 million to HK$223 million) and helped by cost controls, favorable currency fluctuations and reduced tax expenses.

Overall capacity utilisation of AsiaSat’s core fleet of AsiaSat 5, AsiaSat 6, AsiaSat 7, AsiaSat 8 and AsiaSat 9 stood at 70 per cent (128 transponders utilised/leased) as of June 30th 2019 (December 31st 2018: 72 per cent, 131 transponders used/leased).

AsiaSat said that the initiative to transform AsiaSat 9 into a video ‘hotbird’ continues to gain traction, with new channels in Mandarin, Korean and Nepali added and market access expanding across the Asia-Pacific region. The proposed privatization of AsiaSat by way of a scheme of arrangement and delisting from the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited announced on June 27, 2019, which is subject to approval by the scheme shareholders at the Court Meeting and Special General Meeting on 23 August 2019.

AsiaSat’s Chairman, Gregory M. Zeluck, commented that it is useful to note that satellite remains as the video delivery method of choice in the Asia-Pacific, while new terrestrial services, such as Over-The-Top (OTT), Video-on-Demand (VoD) and Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVoD) continue to operate at a low revenue base. As of now, though the impact of OTT and other digital terrestrial platforms remains limited, the company expects them to grow rapidly and the Group will continue to evaluate and explore various opportunities with customers to provide new OTT services as value added extensions of the firm's existing video distribution services.