Steve Collar, CEO at SES, speaking at the Satellite Innovation conference in Mountain View, California, told delegates that consolidation in the industry was more likely than ever — however, that the structure of the industry could hinder any such deals.
He stressed that the industry was in a really good place, adding that innovation was greater today than ever before seen. “We have to look after everyone, clients of course, but we like to look at ourselves as a 30-year start up,” he said.
As to the vexed question of M&A activity, he added that consolidation was likely in the past and yet hadn’t happened. “But it will happen, more likely than not.”
“Return on investment capital is challenging in this industry,” Collar said. “If you want investors to bring money to any given industry, you have to prove you’re responsible with that investment, and I think the fragmentation of the industry makes that challenging.”
The UAE government has instructed Abu Dhabi-based Yahsat to study market demand and to assess the need for two new satellites which could launch in 2026.
The UAE, via Al Yah (Yahsat), already operates Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2 and there is now the potential of two new craft, Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5. The concept is to guarantee the capacity already provided to the government but also to handle expansion from market demand.
Ali Al Hashemi, Group CEO/Yahsat, said, “Yahsat has long been recognized as a strong national champion, a global ICT leader, and an enabler of critical communications infrastructure. This potential expansion of our fleet for the UAE Government would further underpin our long-term contracted backlog and reinforces our position as the UAE’s primary supplier and preferred partner to the UAE Government for advanced satellite communications and critical satellite connectivity needs. We continuously strive to provide our customers and partners with best-in-class solutions and equipment. This announcement to assess the expansion of the existing fleet presents a significant opportunity to enhance Yahsat’s business value for all stakeholders, allowing us to capitalize on our future growth strategy.”
Al Yah 1 was launched in 2011, while Al Yah 2 was launched in 2012.