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Telesat Considers Paying Special Dividend After Sale Talks Ended

Telesat Holdings Inc. may pay investors a special dividend after a sale of the world’s fourth-largest satellite company fell through.

“It would be nice for shareholders to realize some of Telesat’s value, so we may recapitalize the business and then pay a special dividend,” Chief Executive Officer Daniel Goldberg said in an interview at an industry conference in Paris. The company, based in Ottawa, may borrow money to make the payment, he said, adding that the current “turbulence” in markets will be taken into account.

Telesat, co-owned by Loral Space & Communications Inc. and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board, weighed takeover offers from EchoStar Corp. and Carlyle Group, people with knowledge of the matter said in March.

“We got a couple of real, credible offers, but our investors decided they would not sell because they still see significant value in Telesat,” Goldberg said.

Loral said on Aug. 4 that none of the offers “was acceptable” and ended talks with potential buyers.

Loral rose 2.5 percent yesterday to $56.71 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have dropped 26 percent this year.

Telesat owns 12 operational satellites and has 3 under construction. Its largest customer is BCE Inc., Canada’s biggest provider of mobile phone, Internet and satellite TV services.

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