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UAE takes giant leap in space technology with Yahsat-Bayanat merger

Abu Dhabi satellite operator Yahsat and geographic data and analytics provider Bayanat have agreed an all-share merger to create the region’s first AI-powered space technology company, they said on Tuesday.

The implied valuation of the combined entity is 15 billion dirhams ($4.1 billion) based on Monday’s closing share prices, with the proposed deal leaving Bayanat as the legal entity and its shareholders owning about 54% of the merged business and Yahsat shareholders holding the rest.

“This merger will unite two leading home-grown companies to create the MENA region’s first AI-powered space technology company,” Bayanat Chairman Tareq Al Hosani said in a statement.

The combined business would be a strategic solutions provider to the UAE government and its agencies while expanding globally, he added.

The Yahsat and Bayanat boards have recommended the deal to their shareholders, the companies’ jont statement said.

The combined entity would be about 42% owned by G42, 29% by sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company and 8% by International Holding Company.

G42 and IHC are both part of a sprawling business empire controlled by Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, one of the most powerful members of Abu Dhabi’s royal family.

Houlihan Lokey advised Bayanat and FTI Capital Advisors advised Yahsat.

The merger is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals and is expected to close in the second half of 2024, the statement said. Reuters

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