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Intelsat Reportedly Hires Bankruptcy Firm Kirkland & Ellis, Considering Chapter 11

By Rachel Jewett | February 5, 2020
Intelsat's North America headquarters. Photo: Intelsat

Intelsat’s North America headquarters. Photo: Intelsat

Intelsat has reportedly hired law firm Kirkland & Ellis to consider a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy if U.S. regulators don’t increase the company’s compensation for C-band spectrum, Bloomberg Law reports.

Intelsat told Via Satellite on Wednesday that it will not comment on rumor, and Kirkland & Ellis did not respond to a request to comment. Intelsat’s stock closed at $3.72 per share on Wednesday after opening at $4.00 per share Wednesday morning.

Intelsat is part of the C-Band Alliance (CBA), with SES and Telesat, a group of operators that hold the licenses to the mid-band spectrum targeted for reallocation to 5G wireless services. The CBA has committed to clear 300 MHz of C-band spectrum, proposing control of a privately held auction that would bring in revenue for the operators. In November, however, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai revealed his intent to pursue a public auction to clear the spectrum.

Pai is expected to publish his proposed plan to auction and reallocate C-band spectrum on Wednesday. The plan is expected to include details about how satellite operators with C-band licenses will be compensated (if at all) from the auction. It is unclear whether or not a potential Chapter 11 reorganization would impact or delay the FCC’s C-band proceedings. Pai’s proposal is expected to be on the agenda for the FCC’s Feb. 28 meeting.

The Latest: Read Via Satellite’s update on the FCC draft order here.