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Iridium Closes Financing for Iridium NEXT

Satellite Technology

Satellite Technology Feature Article

October 29, 2010

Iridium Closes Financing for Iridium NEXT

By Jai C.S., TMCnet Contributor

Iridium Communications, Inc., a mobile satellite service Company offering coverage over the entire globe, successfully closed the financing facility for its next generation satellite constellation, Iridium (News - Alert) NEXT.

The facility, as stated, is provided by a syndicate of nine banks led by Deutsche Bank AG, Banco Santander SA, Societe Generale, Natixis and Mediobanca International S.A., and includes BNP Paribas, Credit Industriel et Commercial, Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. and Unicredit Bank Austria AG.

Company statement also clarified that this financing will help the company by providing up to $1.8 billion for the design and manufacture of Iridium NEXT satellites.

"We are extremely pleased with the size of the facility, which together with internally generated cash flow, we continue to believe is sufficient to fully fund our next generation of satellites," Tom Fitzpatrick, chief financial officer at Iridium said in a statement.

 "We are also obviously pleased with the facility's highly attractive funding cost, long-term nature, and with the covenants and other terms that have been agreed. We are proud to be associated with the pre-eminent group of lenders that have participated in the facility and believe their support speaks well of our future prospects," Fitzpatrick added.

Also, in connection with the closing of the financing, Iridium's Full Scale System Development Contract with Thales (News - Alert) Alenia Space became effective, replacing the existing Authorization to Proceed.

Headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A, Iridium Communications has been serving commercial markets through a worldwide network of distributors, and provides services to the U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. and international government agencies. Recently, the company announced its alliance with Ericsson (News - Alert) Federal, Inc., to implement a new Ericsson Mobile Softswitch Solution to provide Iridium's next-generation switching technology, including custom design, development, integration and maintenance for the Iridium satellite communications system. Iridium has also transitioned all commercial traffic to the new Ericsson MSS switching technology.

Jai C.S. is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jai's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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