Eutelsat CEO Predicts Abertis Will Sell Remaining Stake

Eutelsat Communications SA Chief Executive Officer Michel de Rosen said the French satellite company expects shareholder Abertis Infraestructuras SA to divest its remaining stake.

“When they will sell it, who they will sell it to, that is their prerogative,” de Rosen said in an interview at a conference organized by Morgan Stanley in Barcelona today. “They don’t have to report to us. It’s their decision.”

Abertis owns about 8.4 percent of Paris-based Eutelsat, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Barcelona-based Abertis, whose businesses range from toll-road management to telecommunications and airports, sold 35.2 million Eutelsat shares, or a 16 percent stake, for 27.85 euros each in January. It agreed to sell an additional 7 percent stake to China Investment Corp. in June.

Eutelsat’s CEO said he’s “confident” the company will meet or even beat its financial targets for revenue growth, capital expenditure and the margin for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the fiscal year ending June 30. Eutelsat also wants “the dividend to grow every year so as to have happy shareholders,” he said, ruling out any extraordinary dividend or share buybacks.

The company is also considering the purchase of some businesses to boost growth and won’t dispose of any assets, according to de Rosen.

“We’re not planning anything transformational, but respecting our leverage we would be delighted to be able to do some focused, limited, value-creative deals,” de Rosen said. “We are working on this and maybe something would happen this year, maybe next year.”

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