Intelsat emerged from a lengthy Chapter 11 process as a private company. His reorganization plan, upheld by the court in December, cut the company’s debt by more than half, from about $16 billion to $7 billion.
The satellite operator also secured $6.7 billion in new financing consisting of a revolving credit facility, a term loan and secured notes. This latest milestone announced on Wednesday comes after Intelsat received regulatory approvals and met customary conditions.
It was a long process for the company, which went bankrupt in May 2020, when the company said it needed to restructure financially in order to fund C-band compensation for the FCC process. The previously released operator a bankruptcy exit plan in February 2021but was unable to get approval for the plan.
Along with the announcement came a new board of directors, now led by Lisa Hammit, executive vice president and chief technical officer of Davidson Technologies. Hammit previously led Watson at IBM and held leadership roles in AI and data at Salesforce and HP.
The board also includes CEO Stephen Spengler; James Bolin of Appaloosa LP; Roy Chestnutt, formerly of Verizon; Marc Montagner, formerly of LightSquared (now Ligado Networks); Easwaran Sundaram of Tailwind Capital and Jinhy Yoon of PIMCO.
Spengler is expected to retire now that Intelsat has completed its restructuring process. He announced his intention to retire in October 2021 and the search for the next CEO is ongoing. Former COO Samer Halawi also recently left the company.
Spengler said in Wednesday’s announcement that the debt reduction would support Intelsat’s network plans. The company recently ordered two software-defined satellites from Thales Alenia Spaceand was invest in its in-flight connectivity (IFC) offer after acquiring Gogo’s commercial aviation division during the bankruptcy process.
“We are better positioned than ever to fuel the success of our customers and partners, achieve our strategic objectives and accelerate our growth. Building the world’s first unified satellite-based, software-defined 5G network is just one of many groundbreaking Intelsat projects underway,” Spengler said.