Intelsat reveals plan to reorganize and trim debt

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SAN FRANCISCOIntelsat SA announced a reorganization plan Feb. 12 to reduce the Luxembourg-based communications satellite fleet operator’s debt from nearly $15 billion to $7 billion.

Creditors responsible for approximately $3.8 billion of Intelsat’s debt have approved Intelsat’s plan and the company is seeking approval from additional creditors, according to a Plan of Reorganization filed Feb. 12 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Under the plan, Intelsat would issue new stock with 95% of the shares going to unsecured creditors of subsidiary Intelsat Jackson. Intelsat has requested a March 17, 2021 Bankruptcy Court hearing on the proposal. If approved, the company could emerge from Chapter 11 in the second half of 2021, according to an Intelsat news release.

Intelsat filed for bankruptcy court protection in May in an effort to eliminate around half of its $15 billion debt and free up funding to purchase satellites to clear C-band spectrum for U.S. 5G networks in exchange for funding from a U.S. Federal Communications Commission auction.

Intelsat stands to receive a maximum of about $4.86 billion if it meets the FCC deadlines for clearing spectrum, according to a report Intelsat filed Feb. 12 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Intelsat has ordered seven satellites as part of its spectrum-clearing plan.

As it negotiates its exit from bankruptcy, Intelsat also is defending a claim SES filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia seeking at least $1.8 billion in damages related to Intelsat’s withdrawal from the C-Band Alliance.

“The trial on the SES proof of claim has been scheduled to be heard by the Bankruptcy Court beginning on June 28, 2021,” according to Intelsat’s Feb. 12 Securities and Exchange Commission filing.