Intelsat gives second debt swap extension on OneWeb merger

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WASHINGTON — One day after the deadline passed for a debt swap Intelsat needs to ensure its merger with OneWeb — and a $1.7 billion investment from Japanese conglomerate Softbank — comes to fruition, Intelsat has again extended the window for shareholders to participate to May 15.

This is the second time Intelsat has extended the deadline, which was initially set for April 20, in order to provide more time for shareholders to come to a consensus. On April 21, Intelsat extended the deadline to May 10.

The purpose of the debt exchange is to trim around $3.6 billion off of Intelsat’s roughly $15 billion debt. Softbank’s investment is conditional upon the success of the debt exchange.

In a May 11 statement, Intelsat said the new deadline for the exchange offers and consent solicitations is May 15 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

Intelsat, which operates a fleet of more than 50 satellites in geostationary orbit, and OneWeb, a well-capitalized low-Earth orbit startup led by former O3b Networks founder Greg Wyler, announced their intention to merge back in February. OneWeb raised $500 million from a pool of corporate investors in 2015 that included Intelsat, followed by another $1.2 billion in December 2016, of which $1 billion came from Softbank and the rest from previous investors.