Intelsat Global Holdings SA (I:US), the world’s largest satellite services business, raised $347.8 million in its U.S. initial public offering, pricing a decreased number of shares below the proposed range.
Intelsat sold 19.3 million shares for $18 each, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, after offering 21.7 million shares for $21 to $25 apiece. The stock will start trading today, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol I.
“Compared to its peers in Europe, Intelsat is not that compelling,” Giles Thorne, an analyst at Jefferies LLC in London said today by telephone. The Luxembourg-based company is “not growing as fast as its European peers and at the same time is highly levered.”
Intelsat was established in 1964 as the first commercial satellite-services provider, according to its website. Its European competitors include Paris-based Eutelsat Communications SA (ETL), London-based Inmarsat Plc (ISAT), and SES SA, the world’s largest publicly traded satellite operator, also based in Luxembourg.
A group of private-equity funds led by BC Partners Ltd. and Silver Lake Management LLC acquired Intelsat in a 2008 buyout that valued the satellite operator’s equity at about $5 billion. Neither firm planned to offer shares in the IPO, filings show. Intelsat will use proceeds from the offering to repay debt.
The fact that Intelsat’s private equity owners have not sold down at the IPO was “encouraging for incoming investors,” Thorne said.
Intelsat generated $2.61 billion in revenue in 2012, a less than 1 percent gain from the year-earlier period.
Intelsat’s communications network includes more than 50 satellites that cover more than 99 percent of the world’s populated areas, the filings show.
The company, led by Chief Executive Officer David McGlade, filed to raise $1.75 billion last May.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. led the offering.
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