SES reached an agreement to acquire Intelsat for $3.1 billion, a deal the companies claim will create a multi-orbit operator able to better compete with rivals in the fast-moving space industry.

SES dubbed the deal “a compelling transaction focused on the future” in a statement, explaining the tie-up will create a company with greater coverage, improved resilience, an expanded suite of solutions and enhanced resources to invest in innovation.

A deal comes just over a year after it emerged they had held talks about a big money merger. SES however released a statement shortly after stating discussions had been abandoned with no agreement reached.

The consolidation will no doubt help to compete with the likes of Elon Musk’s Starlink, Amazon’s Project Kuiper, traditional space operators including Viasat, which merged with Inmarsat last year, as well as emerging market entrants Lynk Global and AST SpaceMobile

Pitching the merits of the deal, the merged entity expects to deliver €2.4 billion of synergies within the first three years of closing, representing 85 per cent of equity consideration. It will also benefit from a gross backlog of €9 billion and revenue of €3.8 billion, while tipping increased business and high demand in a growing Networks segment.

In total, the combined business will operate a fleet of more than 100 Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and 26 Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites. By end-2026, it aims to launch eight new GEO satellites and seven MEO offerings. It further touted increased potential in serving government, mobility, fixed data and media segments.

The combined SES entity will continue to be based and domiciled in Luxembourg, while maintaining a significant presence in the US.

Adel Al-Saleh, CEO of SES, pointed to the merits of the combination for supply chain partners and the wider industry in creating new opportunities “as satellite-based solutions become an increasingly integral part of the wider communications ecosystem”.

The deal hopes to close in the second half of 2025.