West Palm Beach (HedgeCo.net) – Satellite communications company Intelsat is launching a joint venture with a South African alternative investor group led by Convergence Partners.
The joint venture plans to finance, build and launch a new satellite, Intelsat New Dawn, featuring a payload optimized to deliver wireless back haul, broadband and television programming to the continent of Africa, it is expected to enter service in early 2011.
The group recently concluded agreements for financing of the project, which is expected to cost around $250 million. The project is to be funded approximately 15% with equity and 85% with debt, the debt being in the form of non-recourse project financing provided by African institutions. Pre-orders for satellite capacity currently total more than $350 million, with some contracts for up to 15 years of service on the satellite.
"Today marks an important milestone in the development of Africa’s infrastructure," Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Convergence Partners said, "The New Dawn joint venture, with its optimized satellite and African-led financing, represents a solution for Africa by Africa. Over the course of this satellites life, it will provide world-class connectivity, allowing businesses to grow and rural communities to connect. Convergence Partners believes that investments in African projects of this nature can offer superior returns while also accelerating the socio-economic development of the continent."
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