China Communication Technology is among final bidders for Asia Broadcast Satellite, the communications operator being sold by European private equity firm Permira, people familiar with the matter said. CCT, a Shenzhen-based provider of military communication equipment, is in the advanced stages of negotiations with Permira, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are confidential. Permira had been seeking to value the business at about $1 billion, according to one of the people. There are still other bidders interested in Asia Broadcast Satellite, the person said.
Permira acquired control of Asia Broadcast Satellite in 2010 in a 184 million-euro ($195 million) deal. The company, led by Chief Executive Officer Thomas Choi, owns a fleet of seven satellites that beam television and mobile-phone signals to Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The firm’s latest orbiter was launched in June 2016, according to its website.
CCT hasn’t reached a final agreement with Permira on terms, and there’s no certainty the talks will result in a transaction, the people said. A spokesman for CCT declined to comment, while a representative for Permira didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
A deal by CCT would mark the second recent attempt by a Chinese company to acquire an overseas satellite operator. Beijing Xinwei Technology Group Co., led by the Chinese tycoon who announced plans to build a $50 billion canal across Nicaragua, agreed in August to buy Israel’s Space Communication Ltd. Xinwei has been discussing a change in the deal terms after one of the Israeli company’s satellites exploded, according to a September announcement.
CCT is the largest shareholder in Shenzhen-listed Huaxun Fangzhou Co., which has a market value of $1.8 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Huaxun Fangzhou Chairman Lv Xiang-yang is the co-founder of and one of the largest shareholders in Chinese electric-car maker BYD Co., the data show.