Measat Satel­lite scraps $166.4 mil­lion con­tract with Astro

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - International Business -

COMMERCIAL satel­lite op­er­a­tor Measat Satel­lite Sys­tems Sdn Bhd (MSS) has scrapped a US$166.4 mil­lion (702.4 mil­lion Malaysian ring­git/k226.62 bil­lion) agree­ment to sup­ply back-up transpon­der ca­pac­ity to Astro Malaysia Hold­ings Bhd’s TV ser­vices and ra­dio broad­cast­ing arm.

MSS, which inked a con­di­tional agree­ment with Astro’s unit Measat Broad­cast Net­work Sys­tems Sdn Bhd (MBNS) in May 2013 to sup­ply the ca­pac­ity, aborted the deal through a “no-fault ter­mi­nat­ing event,” Astro told Bursa Malaysia.

The ca­pac­ity was to come from six Ku-band transpon­ders on the to-be­launched Measat-3c (M3c) satel­lite. MSS has the right to abort the deal if the satel­lite was not launched by Novem­ber 15, 2016, and it wasn’t.

Fol­low­ing that, MSS has ter­mi­nated its satel­lite agree­ments to pro­cure M3c.

Astro said no penal­ties were due un­der such event and no pay­ment had been made un­der the sup­ply of transpon­der ca­pac­ity agree­ment.

The pro­posed util­i­sa­tion was in­tended to act as back-up ca­pac­ity if the M3b satel­lite failed to launch and start op­er­a­tions in 2014 or if there was a break­down in any of the Astro group’s Ku-band transpon­ders on other satel­lites.

Un­der the agree­ment, MBNS would utilise transpon­der ca­pac­ity of six Kuband transpon­ders on the M3c satel­lite in tranches over a 15-year pe­riod.

The an­nual fee would be $1.8 mil­lion for the first two years, $2 mil­lion for the next four years, and $2.2 mil­lion for the rest of the con­tract pe­riod. Hence the to­tal fee would be $166.4 mil­lion.

MSS’ ul­ti­mate hold­ing com­pany is MAI Hold­ings Sdn Bhd. T. Ananda Krishnan, who is Astro’s sub­stan­tial share­holder through Usaha Te­gas Sdn Bhd, con­trols MAI.

“The board is of the view that there is no fi­nan­cial or op­er­a­tional im­pact to the com­pany from this ter­mi­na­tion as suf­fi­cient ca­pac­ity and re­dun­dancy is avail­able across its ex­ist­ing leased transpon­ders from cur­rent satel­lites es­pe­cially as tech­nol­ogy ad­vance­ment has en­abled ef­fi­cient util­i­sa­tion of ex­ist­ing transpon­ders,” Astro said.

None­the­less, it said, MBNS was in dis­cus­sions on ad­di­tional satel­lite and/ or transpon­der ca­pac­ity re­quired for the longer term. – The Star On­line

The fa­cade of Astro head­quar­ters in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: The Star On­line

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