Norwegian telco Telenor is selling its satellite unit to Space Norway.
State-majority-owned Telenor has agreed the sale of subsidiary Telenor Satellite to the state-owned company for NOK 2.36 billion ($217.1m). The deal is expected to close in January 2024.
Telenor Satellite owns and operates the Thor 5, 6, and 7 satellites, as well as two payloads aboard Spot 1 and Spot 2 named Thor 10-02 S1 and S2, all providing coverage across the northern hemisphere.
“For more than 20 years, we have served our customers with premium, high-quality broadcasting and data services via satellite. Now the time has come for a new era for Telenor Satellite,” said Dan Ouchterlony, EVP and Head of Telenor Amp, which manages Telenor's portfolio of companies. “With Space Norway, Telenor Satellite will have an industrial owner who has the right competence and who will prioritize the required financial resources to realize the company’s potential.”
Telenor and Space Norway have signed a letter of intent outlining a strategic partnership that could include additional satellite capacity and satellite consulting services.
Dag H. Stølan, CEO of Space Norway, added: “Satellite-based capabilities are more important than ever. The combination of Space Norway’s partly governmental customers and Telenor Satellite’s commercial customer base will give the new company a strong platform to grow the business in both sectors. We are very excited to enter into this agreement and look forward to contributing to the long-term development of Telenor Satellite”.
Space Norway is a public limited company owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry (NFD). The company manages space infrastructure for the country, providing services to wholesale customers.
Space Norway manages four micro LEO satellites for AIS signaling for the Norwegian Coastal Administration; the Svalbard subsea fiber cable, and provides broadband to the Troll station via satellite from Telenor’s Thor 7 satellite. The company also owns 50 percent of ground station operator KSAT alongside Kongsberg Defence and Space.
Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Jan Christian Vestre said the government will propose to the Parliament that Space Norway be provided with capital to finance the acquisition of Telenor Satellite.
“The acquisition will contribute to the establishment of a major Norwegian satellite operator, which, together with a growing Norwegian space industry, can strengthen Norway as a space nation,” he said. “At the same time, the acquisition ensures that Norway, in a time of increasing geopolitical unrest, maintains control over satellites crucial for critical societal functions and strategically important for the country.”
Thor 5 was launched in 2008 and is equipped with 24 Ku-band transponders. Thor 6 launched in 2009 and features 36 Ku-band transponders Thir 7 launched in 2015 and features both Ka and Ku-band transponders. Thor 10-02 was launched in 2004 and Telenor Satellite owns seven Ku-band transponders on Spot 1 and Spot 2.
The company has operated its main teleport outside Oslo in Nittedal since 1985. The company also has a presence at the Makarios Teleport in Cyprus.
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