Permira buys out management in satellite operator ABS

Permira, the London-based private equity firm has agreed to buy a majority stake in Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS), one of the fastest growing premium satellite operators in the world.

Permira, along with the ABS management, has reached an agreement to acquire Kingsbridge Limited, the holding company for ABS, to become the majority shareholder of ABS.

Although Permira did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, media reports have suggested that the private equity firm that advises funds with a committed capital of approximately €20 billion, has paid around $200 million to buy the management stake in ABS.

Hong Kong-based ABS was founded in 2006 by CEO Thomas Choi with major shareholder Citigroup Venture Capital International (CVCI) and the financial backing of Asia Debt Management Capital (ADM Capital).

Permira said that both CVCI and ADM Capital have agreed to sell their respective stakes in Kingsbridge Limited, the holding company of ABS.

ABS supplies bandwidth connectivity to over 80 broadcasting and telecom customers in around 30 countries. ABS currently operates three satellites and has two additional satellites in the pipeline including the new state-of-the-art ABS-2 scheduled to be launched in early 2013.