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The Straight Dish

September 21, 1996|JENNIFER OLDHAM

Hughes Electronics Corp.'s planned $3-billion acquisition of Greenwich, Conn.-based PanAmSat would create the second-largest satellite network in the world. Together, the companies would own 14 satellites that carry telephone traffic and signals from cable-TV networks such as CNN and HBO. A look at what PanAmSat would bring to the deal:

Its history: Founded by Rene V. Anselmo--a pioneer in U.S. and Spanish-language television--in 1984 with $60 million of his own money, the firm quickly grew into the world's largest private satellite company. Anselmo's heirs put the company up for sale in April after his death in September 1995.

Its fleet: PanAmSat owns four satellites that can transmit broadcasting and business communications and long-distance telephone services to almost any country in the world.

Its future: The company has four satellites under construction and long-term contracts worth more than $1.9 billion.

Its market: The satellite market is expected to become even more competitive in the next decade as more than a dozen firms invest more than $30 billion to launch new generations of satellites aimed at increasing global telephone and video communications.

Today: The company's broadcast services department passed a milestone this summer that included broadcasting more than 9,000 hours of full-time transmissions from the Centennial Olympics in Atlanta. Executives called it "the biggest single event in [our] 12-year-history."

* Sources: Bloomberg Business News; Times staff and wire reports

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