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Shareholders to vote on merger to create UAE space giant

The uncrewed Cygnus space freighter, from which were launched two satellites built by students from Abu Dhabi's Khalifa University Nasa
The uncrewed Cygnus space freighter, from which were launched two satellites built by students from Abu Dhabi's Khalifa University
  • Plan to create AI-powered Space42
  • Bayanat AI and Yahsat combined worth $1bn
  • UAE space investments hit $6bn in 2023

Shareholders of two Abu Dhabi technology companies will vote on Thursday on a proposed merger to create a $4 billion space organisation. 

Bayanat AI and Al Yah Satellite Communications Company, better known as Yahsat, will hold their general assembly meetings simultaneously.

The proposed merger will create Space42, an AI-powered space technology champion for the Middle East and one of the most valuable publicly listed space companies in the world.

According to the 2023 financial results of Bayanat and Yahsat, Space42 would initially have a combined revenue of $760 million and net income of $174 million.

The respective boards of directors unanimously voted to recommend to shareholders the merger of the two companies in December. 

The merger is subject to the approval of shareholders representing 75 percent of the voting rights present at a general assembly meeting of each company. 

Regulatory approvals in the UAE and internationally are also required. Both companies said they will continue to operate independently until the merger is effective.

Bayanat is a provider of geographic data and analytics, while Yahsat, a subsidiary of the Mubadala Investment Company, offers “satellite solutions”.

The UAE’s investments in space-related industries surpassed $6 billion in 2023, including satellite communications, Earth and space exploration, data transmission, satellite broadcasting and mobile satellite communications.

The country also has prospects in space mining, space stations, sustainability and recycling in space, space tourism, manufacturing and space academies.

Earlier this year, Nasa and the UAE announced plans for the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre to provide an airlock – a critical component for maintaining a safe environment for astronauts – for Lunar Gateway, the first space station that will orbit the moon.

The value of the Middle East space sector is expected to hit $75 billion by 2032 and trebled in 10 years to reach an estimated $25 billion in 2023, according to a report by Euroconsult.

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