UAE's Yahsat completes majority stake acquisition in Thuraya

Deal is the first major acquisition made by Yahsat, a fully-owned unit of Mubadala Investment Company

Thuraya, the satellite phone subsidiary of Etisalat. Courtesy Thuraya
Powered by automated translation

Al Yah Satellite Communications, the biggest satellite operator based in the UAE, on Sunday said it completed the acquisition of a majority stake in the mobile satellite services firm, Thuraya Telecommunications Company.

“The Thuraya acquisition provides us with an ideal opportunity to grow and diversify our business, bolstering our satellite solutions capabilities on both government and commercial fronts," Masood Mahmood, said chief executive of Yahsat.

"By integrating the portfolios of the two companies, we will together be able to offer a comprehensive mobile and fixed satellite services portfolio.”

An Yahsat spokesperson declined to divulge the monetary value of the stake in Thuraya, the UAE's first home-grown satellite operator.

"We can confirm that this is the first major transaction made by Yahsat in its history, and will make it the first, global, diversified mobile and fixed satellite services business," a spokesperson said in an emailed statement to The National.

Yahsat, which is wholly owned by Abu Dhabi's strategic firm Mubadala Investment Company, is anticipating greater demand for satellite broadband services on the back of higher uptake in Internet of Things serviced industries such as oil and gas and on the growth of sustainable cities in the region.

The acquisition of a majority stake in Thuraya is part of the firm's efforts to grow its mobility segment, Mr Mahmood told The National in June.


Read More:


Yahsat, which launched its third satellite Al Yah 3 in January, has appointed Ali Al Hashemi, who previously led Yahsat's government solutions business, the new chief executive of Thuraya.

The completion of Yahsat acquisition follows Etisalat's announcement last week of selling its stake in Thuraya for $37 million (Dh137m) to Star Satellite Communications, a subsidiary of Yahsat.

Thuraya’s two satellites, serving over 160 countries, will join the Yahsat fleet, expanding it to five in total.

The combination of geostationary satellites operating in the C, Ka, Ku and L-bands will jointly cover Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South America, and Asia. The fleet will provide a broad range of fixed and mobile satellite services spanning voice and data communications to both commercial and government sectors, the company noted.