October 29, 2010
Iridium Communications has closed the $1.8 billion financing facility for its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium Next, the company announced Oct. 27.
The closing of the financing puts Iridium’s full-scale system development contract with Thales Alenia Space into effect and replaces the existing authorization to proceed.
As previously announced in August, the facility will be provided by a syndicate of nine banks led by Deutsche Bank AG, Banco Santander SA, Société Générale, Natixis and Mediobanca International S.A., and including BNP Paribas, Crédit Industriel et Commercial, Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. and Unicredit Bank Austria AG.
The blended interest rate for the facility, which Iridium will use to finance its second-generation satellite constellation is 4.6 percent, excluding fees and other financing costs. The loan is separated into two separate payment structures, with $1.537 billion of the total carrying a fixed yearly interest rate of 4.96 percent and $263 million with a variable interest rated based on the London Interbank Offered Rate plus 1.95 percent per year, which combines to about 2.41 percent.
We are extremely pleased with the size of the facility, which, together with internally generated cash flow, we continue to believe is sufficient to fully fund our next generation of satellites. We are also obviously pleased with the facility’s highly attractive funding cost, long-term nature and with the covenants and other terms that have been agreed,” Iridium CFO Tom Fitzpatrick said in a statement.
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