Hughes Communications could be up for sale

Hughes Communications' (Nasdaq: HUGH) dominant stakeholder Apollo has appointed Barclays Capital to begin a sales process of the satellite provider, reports Reuters.

According to four unnamed sources, Apollo, which owns a 57 percent stake in Hughes, has already gotten a number of first round bids from other private equity firms and of course other satellite service providers.

One of the sources Reuters cited in its report said that Apollo will hold a second round of bids for Hughes.

The satellite provider is best known for providing its managed services suite, including broadband access and VoIP to large enterprises such as Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), GM (NYSE: GM) and Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) in addition to large government agencies and consumers.

A major stakeholder in Hughes since late 2004, Apollo's sale of Hughes is basically its investment exit strategy.

There's been an ongoing trend of private equity firms such as Apollo buying out satellite service providers in recent years. As soon as these service providers become private, they tend to get sold to other private equity investors and rarely become public companies.  

For more:
- Reuters has this article

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