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Mubadala-backed Yahsat expects new satellite launch in H2 2023 -CEO

By Reuters

By Saeed Azhar

DUBAI – Yahsat, the newly listed satellite company partly owned by Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala, plans to launch a new satellite in two years, aimed at introducing advanced data services to its clients by 2024, its chief executive said.

“The launch is the second half of 2023 and by the second half of 2024 services will kick in. This will bring the next generation technologies to the table,” CEO Ali Al Hashemi told Reuters.

Shares of Al Yah Satellite Communications Co (Yahsat) began trading on Wednesday after a $730 million initial public offering, opening at 3 dirhams ($0.8168) per share, 9% above its IPO price of 2.75 dirhams.

It is the first major IPO on the Abu Dhabi bourse since Abu Dhabi National Oil Co Distribution was listed in 2017.

Al Hashemi said the launch will enable it to have a spectrum of unique features and the highest speeds available in the market.

These services will cover maritime, internet of things and data solutions, he said.

The Next Generation System satellite is being built by Airbus < AIR.PA> and will replace one of the satellites operated by Yahsat’s satellite phone unit Thuraya, he said.

Currently Yahsat has five satellites, while its fixed and mobile services cover over 150 countries.

Al Hashmi said Yahsat, which was established in 2007, initially derived its revenue from the government. Currently around 30% is from the private sector and that segment is growing at a very strong pace.

“Our target is to achieve very high growth on the commercial side of the business and also to grow the revenue from the government,” he said.

Yahsat posted revenue of $408 million in 2020 and the growth over the last few years has been largely fuelled by the private sector, he said.

Al Hashmi said the IPO met good demand. “We attracted investors from all over the globe,” he said without disclosing names of investors.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)