Hughes Borrows $115M for Jupiter Launch

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PARIS — Broadband satellite services and hardware provider Hughes Communications has secured a $115 million loan from two French banks to finance the launch of Hughes’ Jupiter all-Ka-band broadband satellite aboard a European Ariane 5 rocket in early 2012, Hughes announced Oct. 29.

The financial package with BNP Paribas and Societe Generale is guaranteed by the French export-credit agency, Coface. Hughes said closing conditions for the loan will be completed shortly.

Germantown, Md.-based Hughes said the loan will be drawn down according to the schedule of milestone payments “to begin shortly” to the Arianespace consortium of Evry, France, which operates the Ariane 5 vehicle.

The loan carries a fixed interest rate of 5.13 percent, with repayment to occur over an 8.5-year period following the launch, the company said.

Jupiter, one of three new-generation Ka-band satellites being built for operators in Europe and the United States, will feature about 100 gigabits per second of throughput and will be used to support Hughes’ consumer broadband business in North America. The satellite, expected to weigh about 6,000 kilograms at launch, is under construction by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif.