O3b to be integrated into parent company SES

By:
Alan Burkitt-Gray
Published on:

O3b CEO Steve Collar takes on leadership of SES Networks as Luxembourg satellite operator begins integration

Satellite operator O3b Networks appears on the verge of becoming an integrated operational division of its 100% owner SES, with the appointment of CEO Steve Collar to a senior role in the parent company.

Collar, who has been CEO of O3b since March 2011, has been made CEO of SES Networks, reporting to Karim Michel Sabbagh, president and CEO of SES. Ferdinand Kayser, currently chief commercial officer of SES, will be CEO of SES Video, which includes another SES subsidiary, MX1, and will also report to Sabbagh.

Collar told Global Telecoms Business: “Over the next few months we will be bringing O3b together with the rest of the SES data business and forming SES Networks.” An SES spokeswoman from Luxembourg, where SES is based, said: “It’s a new organisational model.”

In a statement, SES said that the board of directors had “approved a restructuring of SES’s go-to-market organisation model with the creation of two highly focused business units, SES Video and SES Networks, focusing on the video- and data-centric segments in which SES operates”.

The new organisation will be implemented during 2017, said the company. It “will gather all go-to-market capabilities and allow SES to deliver increasingly differentiated and essential satellite-enabled communication solutions to SES clients in the respective video and data-centric segments”.

SES exercised its right in May 2016 to buy out minority shareholders in O3b. It paid $20 million to take its ownership from 49.1% to 50.5% and then raised a further $710 million to take its ownership to 100%. The company also raised $300 million to pay part of O3b’s $1.2 billion debt.

The group added that SES Networks – now headed by Collar – “comprises the enterprise, mobility and government segments and integrates O3b Networks”. There is no word about whether the O3b brand will be retained.

Romain Bausch, chairman of the SES board of directors, said: “This new market facing structure will enable SES to accelerate the execution of its market centric strategy and concentrate its differentiated capabilities within each community to best serve its customers globally.”