It has done so by exercising the put option granted in 2008 by the Abertis Group, Hispasat’s majority shareholder.
Eutelsat holds a 33.69% stake in Hispasat through its subsidiary, Eutelsat Services und Beteiligungen GmbH. Under the terms of the put option agreement, the value of the stake will be determined by an independent expert.
The transaction will proceed subject to Spanish government consent.
However, quoting a spokesman from Abertis, Reuters reports that the majority shareholder does not recognise the put option and says the process initiated by Eutelsat is invalid.
Abertis added that a compromise solution would be for Eutelsat to remain in the company, at least until the end of July 2017.
It also said that the put option still had to be recognised in accordance with the agreement with shareholders in July 2013.
Furthermore, any transfer of shares, and therefore Eutelsat’s sale, would require the previous authorisation of Spain’s Council of Ministers.
Eutelsat has responded in a statement by saying that the exercise of the put represents a pre-agreed exception to a lock-up period extending to the end of July 2017.
As such, Eutelsat is within its rights to exercise the put prior to July 2017.
Hispasat currently lists Abertis as the majority (57.05%) shareholder, while State Society of Industrial Holdings (SEPI) and Centre for Technological and Industrial Development (CDTI) hold respective stakes of 7.41% and 1.85% in the operator.