Eutelsat shares rise 6.8% on possible deal

Eutelsat Communications shares rose after the satellite operator said its board and several shareholders have been 'approached' about a possible transaction involving its capital, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the board 'has not been informed of the final position of its shareholders, nor is it aware of an auction procedure,' Eutelsat said, without revealing who had made the approach.

Shares of the parent company of Paris-based Eutelsat, which operates a fleet of 23 communications and broadcasting satellites, had already risen earlier on anonymously sourced press reports that it had received a takeover offer from a private equity house, the report said.

The stock rose as much as 6.8% to 15.44 euros ($19.72) after the statement was issued.

Speculation of an impending private equity deal has intensified in recent weeks.

Some analysts say the visibility of Eutelsat's future cash flow and strong asset base make it an ideal candidate for a leveraged buyout, the report added.

Separately, French investment company Eurazeo said two of its investment funds, RedBirds Participations and BlueBirds Participations, have been approached regarding selling their shareholdings in Eutelsat.

'No decision has been taken at this stage,' Eurazeo said in a statement. It did not say who had approached them.