Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Intelsat New Dawn Satellite Launch Rocket Carries Historic First
LUXEMBOURG & JOHANNESBURG - Tuesday, March 29th 2011 [ME NewsWire]
(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Final preparations for the historic Intelsat New Dawn satellite launch are on track. On Wednesday, March 30, the satellite, loaded in an Ariane 5 rocket, is expected to be rolled from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone. It will be readied for lift-off that day during a launch window that opens at 6:45 p.m. local time in French Guiana (11:45 p.m. in South Africa), and continues to 7:52 p.m. (12:52 a.m. in South Africa). The project has also received a symbolic ‘boost’ from the image of Nelson Mandela’s signature, which is featured on the rocket’s fairing.
The New Dawn project was created through a unique joint venture between Intelsat and a South African investor group led by Convergence Partners, which also includes Altirah Telecoms and the not-for-profit Convergence Partners Foundation. The project was funded though a combination of equity from Intelsat and the Convergence Partners Consortium, and debt funding via an innovative structure that has maximized African participation in the project. Debt providers comprise Nedbank, the Industrial Development Corporation and the African Development Bank.
Operating from a geostationary orbital slot at 32.8? East, Intelsat New Dawn will serve Africa through a payload optimized to deliver new capacity for wireless backhaul, fixed line and wireless infrastructure, broadband and media– the fastest growing satellite-based applications in Africa. The satellite’s 28 C-band and 24 Ku-band 36 MHz transponder units are designed specifically to supply critical communications infrastructure for African customers, who have experienced exceptional growth along with the development of the region.
The historic launch can be viewed via live stream on www.intelsatnewdawn.com.
About Intelsat New Dawn
Initially announced in December 2008, the US$250 million Intelsat New Dawn project is funded approximately 15% with equity and 85% with debt. African institutions are providing approximately 90% of the total financing required for the joint venture and Intelsat will contribute the balance. Nedbank Capital, part of the Nedbank Group (one of South Africa’s largest banking groups) and a leading telecom project financier in South Africa, has arranged the non-recourse debt financing. A consortium of lenders including Nedbank, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa and the African Development Bank will provide the debt funding. The equity is provided by Intelsat (74.9%) and the Convergence Partners-led group (25.1%), which also includes Altirah Telecoms and the not-for-profit Convergence Partners Foundation.
Intelsat is the leading provider of fixed satellite services worldwide. For over 45 years, Intelsat has been delivering information and entertainment for many of the world’s leading media and network companies, multinational corporations, Internet Service Providers and governmental agencies. Intelsat’s satellite, teleport and fiber infrastructure is unmatched in the industry, setting the standard for transmissions of video, data and voice services. From the globalization of content and the proliferation of HD, to the expansion of cellular networks and broadband access, with Intelsat, advanced communications anywhere in the world are closer, by far. For more information, visit www.intelsat.com.
About Convergence Partners
Convergence Partners is an investment company focused on the telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) sector in Africa. Convergence Partners' investment philosophy is to take meaningful equity stakes in quality projects and businesses within its chosen sector and act as an active, strategic value-adding investor. As a major part of its strategy, Convergence Partners focuses on greenfields projects that improve access to communications, broadband services and technology offerings throughout Africa and thereby contribute to enhanced standards of living. For more information, visit www.convergencepartners.co.za
About Altirah Telecoms
Altirah Telecoms is the special purpose common investment vehicle of Altirah Capital and the Oppenheimer family's private equity portfolio. Altirah Capital is a South African-based investment company, founded by David Frankel and Paul Salomon. The Oppenheimer family's private equity portfolio is advised by Stockdale Street Limited, which is run by Peter Maw and Paul Salomon.
Intelsat Safe Harbor Statement
Some of the statements in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" that do not directly or exclusively relate to historical facts. The forward-looking statements made in this release, reflect Intelsat's intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about future events and are subject to risks, including known and unknown risks. Detailed information about some of the known risks is included in Intelsat's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended 31 December 2010 and Intelsat's other periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Because actual results could differ materially from Intelsat's intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about the future, you are urged to view all forward-looking statements contained in this news release with caution. Intelsat does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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Vice President, Investor Relations and Communications