United States: Space Business Review August 2016


On August 24, Beijing Xinwei Technology Group (Xinwei) and Space-Communication Ltd. (Spacecom) announced the sale of Spacecom to Xinwei subsidiary Luxembourg Space Telecommunication S.A. for $285m, representing a 44% premium on Spacecom's average trading price over the last three months. Following closing of the transaction, Xinwei plans to privatize Spacecom; however, based on the terms of the transaction and due to Spacecom's regulatory licenses, Spacecom will remain an Israeli company and will continue to operate its satellites from Israel.


On August 8, Eutelsat Communications S.A. (Eutelsat) announced that it entered into an agreement with SpeedCast International Limited (SpeedCast) whereby SpeedCast will acquire Eutelsat's 70% ownership interest in maritime connectivity services provider WINS Limited for a purchase price based on a total enterprise value of approximately €60m.


On August 8, DISH Network Corporation (DISH) announced that it priced, on August 3, and closed a $3b offering of 3.375% convertible notes due 2026. The notes are convertible at an initial price of $65.18 per share of class A common stock or may be settled by DISH in cash. DISH simultaneously entered into convertible note hedge and warrant transactions to raise the notes' conversion premium, to reduce the potential dilutive impact on shareholders and to offset cash payments that may be required of DISH. DISH plans to use the approximately $2.72b in net proceeds from the offering for strategic transactions, some of which may relate to wireless and spectrum assets, and for other general corporate purposes. Earlier, on August 2, DISH announced that it is planning a separate offering of convertible notes in an aggregate principal amount of $2b, with an option to purchase an additional $400m.


On September 1, Yuzhnoye State Design Office announced that it received authorization from the State Space Agency of Ukraine to establish operations, including a launch facility, in North America for performing launches using the Cyclone 4 launch vehicle. The company is targeting an all-inclusive price of $45m for 3700kg payloads to sun synchronous orbit.


August 14 – Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) successfully launched the JCSAT-16 satellite for SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation on a Falcon 9 launch vehicle and, following stage separation, successfully landed the first stage of the Falcon 9 on its Of Course I Still Love You droneship. Manufactured by Space Systems Loral based on its SSL 1300 satellite platform, JCSAT-16 will serve as an inorbit backup for video distribution and data transfer communications services to Japan from the 124°E and 162°E orbital locations.

August 24 – Arianespace S.A. successfully launched the Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 36 satellites for Intelsat S.A. in the heaviest ever launch using the Ariane 5 launch vehicle. Intelsat 33e, the second satellite of the EpicNG HTS fleet, will provide enterprise networking, telecommunications, aeronautical connectivity and media services to Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East from 60°E; Intelsat 36 will provide DTH TV and media services in southern Africa and the Indian Ocean from 68.5°E.


On July 28, Space Systems Loral announced that it was selected by Sirius XM Radio Inc. to manufacture the SXM-7 and SXM-8 satellites based on the SSL 1300 satellite platform. Each satellite will operate in S-band and carry a large unfurlable antenna reflector enabling broadcast to radios without large ground-based dish antennas. SXM-7 and SXM-8 will replace the XM-3 and XM-4 satellites in 2019 and 2020 respectively and provide audio entertainment and data services in North America.


On August 1, ILS International Launch Services, Inc. announced that it was selected by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute to launch the Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite (Arirang) 6, also known as KOMPSAT-6, on an Angara 1.2 launch vehicle in 2020, marking the first commercial procurement for Angara 1.2.


As part of the Euroconsult World Satellite Business Week, the 2016 Summit for Satellite Financing will be held from September 12-15 at the Westin Hotel in Paris and will feature top-level private and public sector speakers in round-table discussions and presentations. Milbank is proud to be once again an official partner for this highly regarded industry event.

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