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Iridium inks Coface agreement

17 Nov 2010

Mobile satellite service company Iridium Communications Inc has signed the Coface Facility Agreement to finance its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium Next.

A syndicate of nine banks, including Deutsche Bank AG, Banco Santander SA, Société Générale, Natixis and Mediobanca International SA, and includes BNP Paribas, Crédit Industriel et Commercial, Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. and Unicredit Bank Austria AG, will provide up to $1.8 billion (€1.3 billion) of financing to Iridium for the design and manufacture of Iridium Next satellites.

“Iridium is pleased to have received the backing of such a world-class team of financial institutions,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. “The support of Iridium Next by Coface and the banking syndicate is further affirmation of our strength as a global business that consistently demonstrates the ability to provide service and unique value to the vast and growing market for mobile satellite services.”

Desch affirmed that Iridium Next is on track. “In the four months since we announced Thales Alenia Space as our prime contractor, they have met the milestones agreed upon for this first phase of the project, and we are off to an excellent start.

“Our requirements development process is well underway. Planning and design for the satellites and constellation are on schedule. Both our teams and roster of partners are growing quickly. On the overall Iridium Next programme, we expect to spend approximately $600 million (€424.8 million) by the end of 2011. Of this spend, approximately $400 million (€283.2 million) will be funded under the Facility.”