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Intelsat Gets FCC Nod

The FCC has approved satellite operator Intelsat's $3.2 billion merger with PanAmSat; the company said it now expects the PanAmSat deal to close on July 3.

In a statement, Intelsat noted that the transaction was unopposed and that the FCC commissioners found that "the transaction will be in the public interest," and thus granted Intelsat’s application to take control of PanAmSat’s FCC licenses. Since the Department of Justice already approved the PanAmSat deal earlier this month, no other regulatory approvals are required.

"The closing of the merger will open a new chapter for our industry and our customers, who will benefit from expanded services and improved network flexibility and resilience as we bring together these two great companies," says Intelsat CEO David McGlade.

The bond market doesn't appear to be as optimistic about the PanAmSat deal; yesterday, Intelsat was forced to cut an offering of high-yield debt from a planned $3.5 billion to an actual sale of $2.9 billion, proceeds of which will be used to help finance the merger. The reduced Intelsat bond sale reflects the recent softness in the junk-bond market, according to industry observers.