Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) announced that it has signed the definitive Coface Facility Agreement to finance its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. The syndicate of nine banks is led by Deutsche Bank AG, Banco Santander SA, Société Générale, Natixis and Mediobanca International S.A., and includes BNP Paribas, Crédit Industriel et Commercial, Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. and Unicredit Bank Austria AG. They will provide up to $1.8b of financing to Iridium for the design and manufacture of Iridium NEXT satellites. The funding under the Facility is subject to customary closing conditions, which are expected to be met shortly.
The credit facility consists of two pro rata tranches. One tranche of up to $1.537b will bear a fixed interest rate of 4.96% per annum. The second tranche of up to $.263b will bear a variable interest rated based on LIBOR plus 1.95% per annum. Based on the current six-month LIBOR, the interest rate on this tranche would be 2.41% per annum. The repayment period of seven years begins following substantial completion of the Iridium NEXT launch program, which is expected to occur in 2017.
Société Générale, Goldman Sachs & Co., and Hawkpoint Partners Limited advised Iridium in connection with the financing.