Carlyle Weighs Stake Sale in Satellite Firm AsiaSat

Carlyle Group Inc. is considering selling its stake in Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings Ltd. as the U.S. private equity firm seeks to rotate its investment portfolio, according to people familiar with the matter.

Carlyle is working with a financial adviser to help find a buyer for its 50% stake in the Hong Kong-based satellite business, also known as AsiaSat, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The sale, which has drawn preliminary interest from buyers including other global satellite companies, could value the stake at several hundred million dollars, the people said.

AsiaSat, founded in 1988, operates seven satellites supporting video, data, hosting and mobility services in the Asia Pacific region, according to its website. The company launched Asia’s first private regional satellite in 1990 and its shares started trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 1996.

Carlyle bought a stake of about 50% in AsiaSat from General Electric Co. for about $483 million in 2015 but it didn’t secure enough shares for a take-private bid. In 2019, the buyout firm and Citic Group Corp. took AsiaSat private.

Sale considerations are ongoing and Carlyle could still decide to keep its holdings, the people said. A representative for Carlyle declined to comment.

Satellite companies have attracted interest from investment funds in recent years as companies adapt to new disrupting technologies. In 2019, a consortium of investors including Apax Partners and Warburg Pincus bought U.K.-based satellite operator Inmarsat Plc for about $3.4 billion.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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