Sunday, November 28, 2010

O3b Secures Funding for Global Ka-band Satellite Network

O3b Networks has secured the US$1.2 billion in financing need to advance to the next phase in its global, broadband satellite venture. The total funding now comprises a US$510m Coface-backed Senior Debt Facility provided by HSBC, ING, CA-CIB and Dexia; a US$115m Senior Debt Facility and a US$145m Mezzanine Facility provided by HSBC Principal Investments, DBSA, AFDB, DEG, Proparco, FMO, IFC and EAIF*; and US$410m in equity financing, of which US$230m is new equity investment.


The additional equity is being provided by a group of existing shareholders that includes Google, North Bridge Venture Partners and Allen & Company, with SES, Liberty Global and HSBC Principal Investments taking the leading role. New investors include the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Sofina and Satya Capital. With this final round of funding, SES will become the largest minority shareholder of O3b Networks and will provide in-kind services, including commercial and engineering expertise.


O3b stands for the "Other 3 billion", a reference to nearly half of the world's population that is not adequately served with broadband internet access.


O3b's satellites will be placed in orbit 8,000 kilometers from the earth, four times closer to the planet than regular geostationary satellites, for low latency.


Thales Alenia Space is currently constructing O3b's first eight medium earth orbit Ka-band satellites. Arianespace has been chosen as the launch partner. ViaSat will provide the teleport and trunking product customer terminals.


O3b anticipates first commercial services in the first half of 2013.
http://www.o3bnetworks.com

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