In a significant step towards consolidating Europe’s satellite systems operators, Eutelsat will take a 21.1% stake in Spanish counterpart Hispasat.

Eutelsat will pay a reported Euro213.6 million ($187.1 million) via a direct purchase of a 17% stake plus a new share issue.

Eutelsat will part finance Hispasat’s new satellite, Amazon, designed to cover America. This is a groundbreaking joint venture between Europe’s biggest telecommunications players.

Hispasat’s shareholders include Spanish telcos, Telefonica and Auna; Eutelsat is backed by British Telecom, France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia.