Loral’s Acquisition of Telesat Canada Approved

Loral and its Canadian partner, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), have gained approval from Industry Canada for its acquisition of Telesat Canada.

We already heard that Loral is closing the Hawley Earth Station in Pennsylvania (pictured at left), moving all those functions "elsewhere." Does this approval mean "elsewhere" is north to Canada, perhaps? 

"On December 16, 2006, the joint venture company formed by Loral and PSP Investments entered into a definitive agreement with BCE Inc. to acquire 100 percent of the stock of Telesat Canada from BCE for CAD 3.25 billion," according to the PR Newswire release.

The open question is what this new deal means vis a vis Loral’s reetnry in the U.S. market. (Loral, struglling under the weight of high debt, sold their U.S. space assets to Intelsat in 2004. As part of that agreement, Loral agreed to not compete in the U.S. satellite services market for a couple of years.)

Telesat has been an active player in the U.S. market. Portions of  Anik F2’s Ka-band payload was leased to WildBlue two years ago, and Anik F3 is leased to Echostar for Dish Network services.

Incorporated in 1969, Telesat made history with the launch of its Anik A1 satellite in 1972 – becoming the first commercial company in the world to operate a domestic geostationary communications satellite. These days they’re pushing consumer-oriented satellite broadband via resellers:

Telesat’s Anik F2 is the first satellite to fully commercialize the Ka frequency band – a breakthrough satellite communications technology for delivering cost-effective, two-way broadband services. The two-way capability means customers do not need an additional phone or cable line or the expense of a traditional dial-up ISP in order to receive high-speed Internet access. This state-of-the-art development enables dramatic improvements in access to two-way, high-speed Internet services for consumers and businesses in rural and remote areas.

(The picture below is of Telesat’s Edmonton facility.)