PanAmSat Corporation
Company typeSubsidiary[1]
Founded1984; 40 years ago (1984)
FounderRene Anselmo Edit this on Wikidata
HeadquartersGreenwich, Connecticut, United States
OwnerIntelsat (2006–present)

PanAmSat Corporation was a satellite service provider headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1984 by Reynold "Rene" Anselmo, it operated a fleet of communications satellites used by the entertainment industry, news agencies, internet service providers, government agencies, and telecommunication companies. Anselmo got the idea for PanAmSat from Norm Leventhal, a communications lawyer in Washington, D.C., to whom he had turned to for advice regarding difficulties he was encountering in getting reasonably priced satellite transmission for his Spanish International Network (SIN), the current-day Univision.[2] Anselmo financed the entire project himself and Leventhal's law firm, hiring Martin Rothblatt for special satellite technical advice, filed for approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and lining up an initial satellite from RCA Astro-Electronics and a heavily discounted launch from Arianespace.

PanAmSat effectively broke the monopoly on international satellite communications which was held by INTELSAT, an international treaty-based organization founded and owned by several countries including the United States. PanAmSat, led by Anselmo, successfully lobbied the United States Congress to permit it to operate globally, competing against INTELSAT. Univision would also gain a nationwide cable audience through PanAmSat's efforts, gaining a head start in Spanish-language television in the United States and remaining the #1 Spanish network to this day.

Following the death of Rene Anselmo in 1995,[3] his widow Mary Anselmo controlled the company for a time. PanAmSat was sold to Hughes Electronics, a division of General Motors, in a US$3 billion cash and stock deal. The satellite operations continued to be under PanAmSat with Hughes being the majority shareholder. In May 1997, Hughes Communication Galaxy merged with PanAmSat, adding 9 more satellites to its fleet. In 2003, News Corporation purchased Hughes Electronic's PanAmSat division and on 24 April 2004 sold PanAmSat to a consortium of private equity firms in a leveraged buyout including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), Carlyle Group and Providence Equity Partners for US$4.3 billion.

2004 leveraged buyout

KKR led the 2004 leveraged buyout by purchasing a 44% stake in the company. Carlyle and Providence each invested 27%, with management representing the remainder of the equity. The consortium invested only US$550 million in equity, financing the remainder through bank loans and bonds. The transaction closed in August 2004. One month after the buyout, the company issued an additional US$250 million in discount notes used to pay the consortium dividends. Three months later, PanAmSat filed an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In an ironic twist of fate, its private equity owners sold PanAmSat to its archrival INTELSAT in August 2005 for a total of US$4.3 billion in a deal finally consummated in July 2006. At the time of its sale, PanAmSat was the world's leading carrier of TV channels. In combination with INTELSAT (which had also gone private under private equity ownership in 2001), the new company — called Intelsat — is the world's largest commercial satellite company, with 53 spacecraft serving over 200 countries, with nearly 1400 employees.

In March 2007, Forbes magazine estimated the net worth of Rene Anselmo's widow, Mary Anselmo at US$1 billion. Anselmo, 78, lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.[3]

Satellite fleet

Satellite Manufacturer Type Launch vehicle Launch date (UTC) Status Notes
SBS 1 Hughes HS-376 Delta 1 November 1980 Retired January 1990
SBS 2 Hughes HS-376 Delta 1 September 1981 Retired September 1996
SBS 3 Hughes HS-376 Space Shuttle Columbia STS-5 11 November 1982 Retired June 1995
Galaxy 1 Hughes HS-376 Delta 1 June 1983 Retired 1 April 1994
Galaxy 2 Hughes HS-376 Delta 1 September 1983 Retired May 1994
SBS 4 Hughes HS-376 Space Shuttle Discovery STS-41-D 30 August 1984 Retired August 1999
Galaxy 3 Hughes HS-376 Delta 1 September 1984 Retired October 1995
PAS-1 General Electric GE-3000 Ariane 44LP (V22) 15 June 1988 Retired February 2001
SBS 5 Hughes HS-376 Ariane 3 (V25) 1 September 1988 Retired March 2000
SBS 6 Hughes HS-393 Ariane 44L (V39) 1 October 1990 Retired April 2009
Galaxy 6 Hughes HS-376 Ariane 44L 12 October 1990 Retired February 2003
Galaxy 5 Hughes HS-376 Atlas I 14 March 1992 Retired January 2005
Galaxy 1R Hughes HS-376 Atlas I 22 August 1992 22 August 1992 Launch failure
Galaxy 7 Hughes HS-601 Ariane 42P+ (V54) 28 October 1992 Failure on orbit November 2000
Galaxy 4 Hughes HS-601 Ariane 42P+ (V57) 1 June 1993 Failure on orbit May 1998
Galaxy 1R Hughes HS-376 Delta II (7925-8) 19 February 1994 Retired 7 March 2006
PAS 2 Hughes HS-601 Ariane 44L (V65) 8 July 1994 Retired December 2008 Intelsat 2, (formerly PAS-2)
PAS 3 Hughes HS-601 Ariane 42P (V70) 1 December 1994 1 December 1994 Launch failure
PAS 4 Hughes HS-601 Ariane-42L H10-3 3 August 1995 Retired
Galaxy 3R Hughes HS-601 Atlas IIA 1 December 1995 Failure on orbit March 2006
PAS 3R Hughes HS-601 Ariane 44L (V82) 12 January 1996 Retired Intelsat 3R (formerly PAS-3R)
Galaxy 9 Hughes HS-376 Delta II (7925) 12 June 1996 Retired
PAS 6 Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 Ariane 44P 8 August 1997 Failure on orbit April 2004
PAS 5 Hughes HS-601HP Proton-K 27 August 1997 Active
Galaxy 8i Hughes HS-601HP Atlas IIAS 8 December 1997 Retired October 2002
Galaxy 10 Hughes HS-601HP Delta III 26 August 1998 Launch failure 26 August 1998 Launch failure
PAS 7 Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 Ariane 44LP 15 September 1998 Retired
PAS 8 Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 Proton-K 4 November 1998 Retired December 2016
PAS 6B Hughes HS-601HP Ariane 42L 21 December 1998 Active
Galaxy 11 Hughes HS-702 Ariane 44L 21 December 1999 Active
Galaxy 10R Hughes HS-6016P Ariane 42L 24 January 2000 Retired May 2008
Galaxy 4R Hughes HS-601HP Ariane 42L 18 April 2000 Retired July 2006
PAS 9 Hughes HS-601HP Sea Launch, Zenit-3SL 28 July 2000 Active
PAS 12 Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 Ariane 44LP 29 October 2000 Active Previously Europe*Star 1 → PAS 12 → Intelsat 12
PAS 1R Hughes HS-702 Ariane 5G 15 November 2000 Retired 2016
PAS 10 Hughes HS-601HP Proton 15 May 2001 Active
Galaxy 3C Hughes HS-702 Sea Launch, Zenit-3SL 15 June 2002 Active
Galaxy 12 Orbital Sciences Corporation GEOStar-2 Ariane 5G 9 April 2003 Active
Galaxy 13 Hughes HS-601HP Sea Launch, Zenit-3SL 1 October 2003 Active
Galaxy 14 Orbital Sciences Corporation GEOStar-2 Soyuz-FG / Fregat 14 August 2005 Active
Galaxy 15 Orbital Sciences Corporation GEOStar-2 Ariane 5GS 14 October 2005 Active - Failure on orbit of command system, April 2010.[4] Control re-established in December 2010. Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) payload


  1. ^ "SEC".
  2. ^ Norm Leventhal (3 February 2021). Rene, El Tigre, & Me. Up Close & Personal - Spanish Television in America. Dorrance Publishing Company, Inc. p. 55. Retrieved 19 March 2023.
  3. ^ a b "The 400 Richest Americans: #374 Mary Anselmo". Forbes. 21 September 2006.
  4. ^ "Attempt to Shut Down Zombie Satellite Galaxy 15 Fails". SpaceX. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2010.