A global satellite major is expected to pick 26 per cent stake in the Agrani Satellite Services Ltd. (ASSL). This comes close on the heels of French major Alcatel’s submission to Foreign Investment Promotional Board (FIPB) to pick up a 9.75-per cent stake in the project at a consideration of $15 million. The satellite major has also expressed intent for an alliance involving technical, commercial and operational cooperation in ASSL.
Alcatel Spacecom and Arianespace have made individual submissions to the FIPB for their investments in ASSL to the tune of $15 million (9.75 per cent) and $5 million (3.25 per cent) respectively for a combined 13 per cent stake in the Rs 1,1500-million satellite project.
These individual submissions are under the overall umbrella of up to 74 per cent FDI approved by FIPB on October 3. This follows the clearance given on September 21 by the Cabinet Committee for Economic Affairs and the ministry of commerce and industry for the proposed investment.
Alcatel is supplying the satellite, which will be delivered 19 months after financial closure. The satellite, with a life-span of 14 years, has 24 ‘C’ band and 14 ‘ku’ band transponders. The promoters expect the project to be cash positive at the start of the second year of operations.
The Agrani project was the first private Indian satellite to be notified by the government. With only Insat 3C and 3A being launched over the next two years, the capacity of Insat satellites in 2002 is estimated to be no more than 75 transponders.