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SES CEO Karim Sabbagh Says Concern About Satellite Services Overcapacity Is Overblown

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Jerry Anderson

LONDON—After satellite services providers Inmarsat PLC and Eutelsat Communications SA have worried investors with recent cuts to their sales outlook, the chief executive of rival SES SA on Wednesday said ample growth opportunities remain for his company.

Shares in the Paris-based company plummeted 27% in price on the day and are down more than 32% for the month.

But investors still appear to remain skeptical about the entire sector.

Mr. Sabbagh is trying to persuade investors that SES isn t just buying and deploying satellites to provide capacity, but rather has managed to provide growth by tapping emerging demand, such as beaming more higher-definition television than has historically taken place.

In a signal SES remains bullish about the industry s prospects, the company last month agreed to take a controlling stake in O3b Networks Ltd., which is deploying a fleet of spacecraft to beam high-speed Internet to remote locations.

SES said it would spend $20 million to increase its stake from 49.1% to 50.5% and has taken a call option to acquire the rest of the stock for $710 million.

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Jerry Anderson
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