Team Blitz India
Abu Dhabi is consolidating two of its biggest space technology companies to create a new entity focused on artificial intelligence and satellite communications with an implied market value of £4 billion.
The two ADX-listed companies – Al Yah Satellite Communications Co., better known as Yahsat, and Bayanat – said in statements to the stock exchange on December 19 that their respective boards of directors have voted to recommend their merger to shareholders. The proposed transaction will be executed through a share swap with Bayanat as the remaining legal entity.
The merger is the culmination of advances in technology at both companies, according to Anna Hazlett, founder of UAE-based space strategy and investment firm AzurX.
“Bayanat’s expertise in developing AI and machine learning capabilities for the space sector has the potential to turbocharge Yahsat’s satellite communications and nascent Earth observation fleets and services,” Hazlett told The Circuit.
“This potential could put the merger at the cutting edge of satellite operations and geospatial solutions globally and will make it a force to be reckoned with,” she said.
Bayanat is backed by G42, the AI holding company overseen by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the UAE national security advisor who also chairs the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority – the Gulf’s biggest sovereign wealth fund – as well as the state-backed strategic investment company ADQ, the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank, and International Holding Company.
The company provides geospatial products across sectors such as government services and environmental monitoring and is also leading the emirate’s driverless vehicle pilot programme.
Yahsat, a global satellite operator, is partly owned by Abu Dhabi’s second largest sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala Investment Co., and provides satellite services in more than 150 countries. Yahsat Chairman Musabbeh Al Kaabi said the new entity “will benefit from accelerated growth potential as a player of scale with enhanced competitive advantage.”
Bayanat and Yahsat shareholders will own 54 per cent and 46 pc, respectively of the new combined entity, with Mubadala, G42 and International Holding Company owning 29 pc , 42 pc, and 8 pc, respectively.