Due date for Satmex bids delayed

Possible sale of Intelsat could affect deal

MEXICO CITY — The due date for bids on Satmex has been extended to the end of the May, as the satcaster answers concerns of interested buyers, and bidding groups continue to coalesce.

Morgan Stanley is handling the auction. While Satmex is considered a good buy in a consolidating industry, a possible sale of Intelsat could muddy the waters for the much smaller Mexican company, which may fetch between $500 million and $800 million.

Satmex, Mexico’s main satellite company, emerged late last year from a debt restructuring that stripped Mexican Sergio Autrey and Loral Space & Communications of their controlling stakes.

Under Mexican law, the controlling stake will have to be in domestic hands, and global satcasters have been courting local magnates.

Among interested groups are GE Capital and AT&T, which has teamed with telco tycoon Carlos Slim. Eutelsat has lined up businessman Miguel Aleman. Intelsat-Panamsat was talking to Alejandro Bruillo, head of Grupo Pegaso, but its own possible sale could scuttle the bid.

Major European satellite firm SES Global has said it would consider a bid for Satmex, but it lacks a solid Mexican partner and may be pursuing media conglom Televisa.

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