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Global Eagle Files for Bankruptcy 

By | July 22, 2020
Seatback in-flight entertainment via IFC

Seatback in-flight entertainment via IFC. Photo: Global Eagle Entertainment

Global Eagle has entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to facilitate a sale of its assets to a group of loan holders. The company, which provides In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) to airlines and connectivity to the maritime market, has been hit as the COVID-19 pandemic has affected travel. 

The company said this will not impact it’s operations, and CEO Joshua Marks positioned the move as setting up Global Eagle for “long-term success.” 

 “We expect to emerge from this process with a stronger balance sheet, significantly reduced debt and substantial liquidity, well-positioned to continue supporting our global customers into the future,” Marks said. “We remain steadfast in our belief that our airline, cruise line and other customers will recover from COVID-19 and generate significant long-term demand for our services.”

Global Eagle said in a Wednesday announcement that it has agreed upon a “stalking horse” asset purchase agreement, and its assets will be acquired for $675 million by a group of approximately 90% of its loan holders, led by lenders managed by Apollo Global Management, Inc., Eaton Vance Management, Arbour Lane Capital Management, L.P., Sound Point Capital Management, Mudrick Capital Management, and certain funds and accounts under management by BlackRock Financial Management, Inc. 

Global Eagle plans to obtain $80 million in debtor-in-possession financing from and expects this financing to provide liquidity to support its operations during the sale process. 

Jeffrey Rosen, managing director with the Credit business segment of Apollo commented: “Global Eagle is a market leader in delivering in-flight and at-sea passenger experiences with entertainment, content and connectivity. While the company reports that it has been impacted in recent months by COVID-19, we believe it benefits from a blue-chip customer base, industry-leading partnerships, and an innovative platform built through years of strategic investments in technology. We believe Global Eagle’s services will continue to be core to the passenger experience over the long term.”