Television

US Justice Dept. clears Intelsat-PanAmSat merger

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MUMBAI: PanAmSat Holding Corporation has announced that the United States Department of Justice is closing its antitrust investigation of the company's proposed merger with satellite provider, Intelsat Ltd. The Justice Department is not seeking any conditions and is not otherwise commenting on, the proposed merger.

The transaction, in which Intelsat is to acquire PanAmSat for $3.2 billion in August, remains under review by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), states an official release.

"PanAmSat today has worked hard to become one of the world's leading providers of standard and high-definition television signals, with a highly reliable satellite fleet, top-notch service and a professional style of management," said PanAmSat CEO Joe Wright. "We've reached the point where this merger with Intelsat makes a lot of sense for our shareholders, customers and employees. You won't be able to match the combined quality of these two companies. We look forward to our new relationship with Dave McGlade, his management team and his employees."

Commenting on the same, Intelsat Chief Executive David McGlade said, "With the Justice Department's decision not to challenge our transaction, we are moving full speed ahead with our integration planning and preparations.

"We will be finalizing our financing over the next few weeks and should be in a position to close soon after receiving FCC approval."

Intelsat and PanAmSat announced their merger agreement on 29 August 2005. Under the agreement, Intelsat will acquire PanAmSat for $25 per share in cash, or $3.2 billion. In addition, approximately $3.2 billion in debt of PanAmSat and its subsidiaries will remain outstanding or be refinanced. Closing of the transaction is subject, among other things, to the receipt of financing by Intelsat and to obtaining regulatory approval from the FCC, adds the release.

In addition, all other regulatory approvals required prior to closing have been obtained.

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