Bonneville Satellite Communications, headquartered in Salt Lake City, and Wold Communications Inc. have agreed to merge, creating one of the satellite television industry's largest transmission service networks, officials said Thursday.
Financial terms of the agreement, which is subject to Federal Communications Commission approval, were not disclosed. However, a written statement announcing the deal said the merger will result in the formation of a new company, 60 percent owned by Bonneville and 40 percent owned by Wold and the new company's management.The merged company's trade name hasn't been determined, a spokesman said.
"We are excited about combining the experience of Wold with the resources of Bonneville," said Bruce R. Hough, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Bonneville Satellite.
Wold president and chief executive David M. Connell added that the new entity will expand operations, improve efficiencies and increase ability to purchase use of other facilities.
Both executives said the agreement signed Thursday at Wold's headquarters in Los Angeles culminates two years of talks on how to expanding their services. They said the merger reflects the current trend of consolidation in the satellite industry.
The combined companies own and operate 17 satellite uplinks in southern California, New York and Washington, D.C., and microwave systems in each of those areas. Annually the two companies transmit more than 50,000 hours of television programming around the world, using leased channels on six orbiting satellites.
Combined, the two companies transmit about 70 percent of the syndicated television programs aired in the United States as well as providing transmission service for other clients, including several professional sports teams, broadcast news organizations, commercial and private networks, and JISL, a consortium of Japanese broadcasters.
Both firms, with combined revenues of $35 million, employ 190 people in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Salt Lake City and San Diego.
Bonneville Satellite Communications is the trade name for Simmons Satellite Ltd., a Utah limited partnership between Simmons Satellite Inc. and Bonneville International Corp., both based in Salt Lake. Wold Communications is a subsidiary of The Robert Wold Co. Inc. in Los Angeles.
David E. Simmons, president of Simmons Satellite Inc., will be chief executive officer of the new merged company.
Further management and staff changes as a result of the merger will be announced after the deal has formally closed, following FCC approval expected within 60 days.