SES Astra has announced it has taken full control of SES Sirius AB after purchasing the remaining 10% of shares from the Swedish Space Corporation.It marks the end of direct Swedish involvement in the direct-to-home satellite business that began with the launch of the Tele-X satellite in 1989.
SES became a shareholder in what is now SES Sirius with an initial 50% holding, which was increased to 90% on 2008. In the intervening years the five degrees East slot has extended beyond Sweden and the Nordic region and into Central and Eastern Europe. SES Sirius has offices in Sweden, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine and Romania.
“SES Sirius is active in important growth markets that have been in our strategic focus for years. Therefore, we have gradually increased our stake in the company and established a strong presence in these different markets,” said Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO, SES Astra. While SES will continue to operate a Sweden-based company, the integration of the SES Sirius team and activities into our operations will be another important milestone in the implementation of our geographic expansion strategy.”
The Sirius satellites at five degrees East, seen as the Swedish position, have long been seen as rivals to the Norwegians at One degree West.