NewSat Adds Eighth Orbital Slot, Still Working Toward Jabiru-1 Financing

[Satellite TODAY Insider 03-13-12] Australian operator NewSat has entered into an agreement with AP Kypros Satellite for an additional orbital slot and expanded frequencies in existing slots, NewSat announced March 9.

   NewSat said the agreement provides an eighth orbital slot and adds five additional orbital filings and rights to future filings in certain regions, as they are made available. NewSat will pay for AP Kypros’ orbital slots in two installments of cash and stock, with the first installment due on execution of the agreement and the second due when required regulatory approvals are received.
The specific financial details of the agreement were not disclosed, but NewSat Founder and CEO Adrian Ballintine said the specifics would be released at a later date.
   “The expanded frequency allocations enable construction of more and larger satellites in existing slots and the new slot is located in arguably the best position to service the Middle East. This means more satellite capacity available for sale over the world’s highest demand regions and equates to additional revenues in excess of $250 million per annum in perpetuity once satellites are launched,” Ballintine said in a statement.
   NewSat first arranged to acquire the initial seven orbital slots from AP Kypros in February 2011. The company is preparing to launch Jabiru-1, its first geostationary satellite, by the end of the year. In August 2011, NewSat secured a deal with communications service provider TrustComm worth at least $99.2 million. NewSat signed a $40 million contract with Quicklink Communications a month later.
   Ballintine added that the company is continuing to focus on finalizing its Jabiru-1 project in parallel to the expansion of its frequencies and orbital slots.

   “With recent customer announcements totaling $526 million in pre-committed sales and a $20 million equity raise, NewSat is in a strong position from a financing point of view. The export credit agency debt financing for the Jabiru-1 project continues to progress exactly according to plan with final financial close expected in the first half of this year,” said Ballantine.

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