Intelsat ends merger talks with rival satellite communications giant SES

Intelsat ends merger talks with rival satellite communications giant SES

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U.S. satellite communications giant Intelsat walked away from merger discussions with Luxembourg-based competitor SES on Wednesday, CNBC confirmed.

Intelsat ended the discussions after differences arose with SES over business priorities, a person familiar with the situation told CNBC. It also wasn't clear whether the merger would lead to more value creation compared with Intelsat continuing on its own, the person said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss non-public matters.

The merger would have created a combined U.S. and European business valued at over $10 billion, as has previously been reported.

Both companies are increasingly under pressure from a shift in the satellite communications market from video broadcast to data services, leading to a flurry of consolidation in the sector. Elon Musk's SpaceX has most notably disrupted the market, with its Starlink business growing to more than 1.5 million customers in under three years since debuting the service.

An Intelsat spokesperson declined CNBC's request for comment, saying that the company engages in strategic conversations with potential partners on a regular basis but does not discuss the content or outcome of those discussions.

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SES did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. Bloomberg first reported the talks ending.

The collapse of the merger talks comes shortly after SES announced CEO Steve Collar would step down at the end of this month. The move came as a surprise within the space industry, as Collar's career at SES spans more than 20 years.

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