RR Media Agrees to Be Acquired by Germany’s SES for $242 Million

Avi Cohen, RR Media CEO, to lead combined company providing digital media services.

Ofer Vaknin

Israel’s RR Media, which provides digital media and networking services for companies like Fox International, Nickelodeon and Disney, said on Friday it agreed to be acquired by Munich-based satellite operator SES Platform Services for $242 million.

SES said it would pay about $13.29 each for RR’s Nasdaq-traded shares, a 52% premium to their Thursday closing prices. RR shares nearly closed the gap, soaring more than 50% on Friday to close at $13.07. The acquisition has to be approved by regulators and shareholders, but RR Media said it expected the deal to be completed by the third quarter at the latest.

Rapac, which controls 45% of RR Media, saw its shares soar 35% to close at 8.30 shekels ($2.12) on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Sunday after it said it would post a 142 million-shekel gain from the sale.

Avi Cohen, RR Media’s CEO since 2012 who will lead the combined company, told TheMarker that the two companies began the idea of exploring a merger three years ago, but only in the last year did serious talks begin.

“They provide very similar services to what we provide, but there is little overlap between our customers,” he said. “They didn’t think we were particularly interesting but they eventually realized we were doing things they couldn’t – our transition to virtual reality, cloud services and other capabilities they didn’t have.”

RR Media uses satellite, fiber cables and the Internet to deliver what it said is over 24,000 hours of broadcast content daily, including premium sports and live events such as the Super Bowl and the FIFA World Cup.

The company is due to publish its 2015 results this week, but in the first nine months of last year it had revenues of $101 million and net profits, after deducting some items, of $4.5 million.

With a fleet of more than 50 geostationary satellites, SES provides communications services to broadcasters, content and Internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators and business and governmental organizations.