NewSat falls into bankruptcy administration

by | Apr 17, 2015 | Satellites | 0 comments

The Australian prospective satellite operator, NewSat, has filed for Chapter 15 US bankruptcy protection after financing problems and being put into administration in Australia.

The court application in Delaware, US, is an attempt to keep contracts going that will ensure completion of the firm’s Jabiru-1 spacecraft, currently being built by Lockheed Martin, and its launch on an Ariane 5 ECA operated by the European launch provider Arianespace. Arianespace had announced that it planned to terminate its launch contract with NewSat following non-receipt of payments.

NewSat has reportedly also been in discussions with the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, about delayed payments.  The firm also had a 15-year deal, worth US$60 million, with Measat to provide satellite telecommunications capacity over South East Asia.

Newsat has previously received financial backing from the French export agency, Coface, and the US Ex-Im bank. It was the failure to make covenant payments to these organisations that triggered the move to administration.  Both concerns now look likely to lose money if NewSat fails completely.

Comment by David Todd:  While having sympathy for the workers and investors involved, this column has been warning about the danger of export-credit outfits getting burned for some time. Actually, a failure of one of the LEO communications constellations looked likely to hurt the export-credit outfits first, rather than the failure of a small regional GEO operator.

We still expect a business failure in this sector to happen. In a way, export-credit agencies and their national governments deserve to be burned by such bankruptcies.  They have been striving to achieve short-term national advantage (industrial contracts, jobs etc), but have lost sight of the business fundamentals. It was the space bankruptcies of Iridium and Globalstar et al that made space a dirty word in the investment community for a time.  Easy and biased credit for such potential failures, via loans backed by export-credit agencies, might yield the same thing again.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

NewSat ground assets are bought in fire sale but Jabiru-1 satellite remains unsold

The administrators for the bankrupt Australian satellite operator NewSat LLC have found a buyer for its assets.  The Australian firm Speedcast Read more

Newsat has Jabiru-1 construction cancelled by court

The bankrupt Australian Newsat company came the end of the line after a Delaware court ruled that Lockheed Martin had the right to Read more

D-Orbit to launch 20 Astrocast nanosatellites on ION Satellite Carrier

Astrocast has ordered the launch of 20 nanosatellites from Italian new-space company D-Orbit. Through multiple missions over the course of Read more

China launches 16 EO sats on a Long March 6 rocket

China launched a Long March 6 (CZ-6) rocket at 0450 GMT on 10 August from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. Read more

Russia builds and launches Khayyam spy satellite for Iran plus 16 cubesats onboard Soyuz 2-1B Fregat (corrected)

Russia successfully launched a Soyuz 2-1B Fregat from their Baikonur Cosmodrome site at 0552 GMT on 9 August. The launch's Read more

Launch on 9 August: a Ceres-1 rocket flies successfully again on third flight

Galactic Energy of China launched the third Ceres-1 (aka Gushenxing-1) solid rocket four-stage launch vehicle successfully with its lift off Read more

India’s quick response SSLV small launch vehicle fails on first mission

The maiden flight of India's latest rocket, the SSLV, has gone wrong. After an apparent successful launch from the Satish Read more

China launches carbon monitoring environmental satellite

China successfully launched a Long March 4B (CZ-4B) rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center at 0308 GMT on 4 Read more

Categories

Archives