April 24, 2014 / 11:48 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Spain's Hispasat bids for stake in Israeli satellite rival

(Adds valuation and possible buy-out)

MADRID, April 24 (Reuters) - Spanish infrastructure firm Abertis said its Hispasat affiliate is bidding for a majority stake in Israeli satellite operator Space Communication to boost its international exposure.

Abertis built a majority 57 percent stake in Hispasat last year and wants to expand the world’s eighth largest satellite operator’s international business.

Abertis is working on the final terms of a deal to buy a controlling stake in Spacecom being sold by its main shareholder Eurocom Communications Ltd. of Israel but Abertis said it had yet to reach a deal.

Eurocom, owned by Israeli businessman Shaul Elovitch, has a 64.4 percent stake in Spacecom, with a market capitalisation of around 280 million euros ($387 million).

Spanish newspaper Expansion said on Thursday that Abertis’s bid for Spacecom valued the company at 350 million euros, or a 25 percent premium, and that Abertis would buy out the remaining shares and delist the company if its bid were successful.

Abertis declined to comment on a possible buy-out.

Renta4 analysts said a 350 million-euro valuation would represent an EV/EBITDA (enterprise value to core earnings) ratio of 5.4 times.

Spacecom operates four satellites with coverage in Europe, the Middle East and the Atlantic ocean. Hispasat has six satellites with a strong presence in Latin America. It plans to launch four new satellites in the next two years to become the world’s fifth largest operator. ($1 = 0.7231 Euros) (Reporting by Teresa Larraz and Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Jane Merriman)

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