Intelsat, Convergence Partners Form African Satellite Joint Venture
[Satellite News 12-09-08] Intelsat formed a South African-based joint venture, Intelsat New Dawn, to launch a satellite into the 33 degrees East orbital slot to serve a variety of African customers, Intelsat announced Dec. 9.
The operator, along with South African investor group Convergence Partners formed New Dawn with financing from several South African banks. According to Intelsat, the project is expected to cost a total of about $250 million and will be funded with about 15 percent equity and 85 percent debt in the form of non-recourse project financing provided by African institutions. Nedbank Capital and the Industrial Development Corp. of South Africa are the largest participants in the debt-funding consortium.
Intelsat will provide 74.9 percent of the equity with the Convergence Partners-led group, which also includes Altirah Telecoms, contributing the remainder. Intelsat’s stake is expected to be about $25 million in cash. The satellite will join Intelsat’s global fleet in early 2011.
Intelsat CEO Dave McGlade told Satellite Today that a need for a new satellite at the 33 degrees East slot was driven by an increase in capacity demand and the constraint of its supply. “With demand increasing and a constraint in supply, Intelsat New Dawn was the right thing to do,” he said. More than 50 percent of the satellite’s 28 C- and 24 Ku-band transponders are under contract, creating a backlog of more than $350 million.
An interview with CEO Dave McGlade is available to premium subscribers of Satellite News. For more information on how to subscribe, visit www.satellitetoday.com/VIP.