Saudi's Arabsat inks $278m Greek deal

Satellite operation Hellas SAT sold in debt-trimming move
Satellites, Saudi Arabia, Saudi's Arabsat inks $278m Greek deal

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Saudi-based Arabsat has agreed terms with Greek operator OTE to buy its satellite operation Hellas SAT for EUR208m ($278m), reported Reuters.

Deutsche Telekom-controlled OTE is said to have made the sale as part of an asset-selling initiative designed to trim its debt, as its two biggest markets, Greece and Romania succumb to austerity measures.

"We achieved a significant agreement," said OTE's chief executive Michael Tsamaz, describing the deal's value as "satisfying". The transaction is expected to close in the second half of the year.

On Monday Standard and Poor's upgraded OTE's credit rating following the operator's EUR700m bonds sale on January 30, which indicated a slackening debt market for the beleaguered Greek economy.

Last month, Arabsat signed contracts worth more than $400 million with Astrium, Thales Alenia Space and Arianespace to manufacture and launch the first satellite in its sixth generation of satellites, Badr-7.

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