Speedcast to reorganize under Centerbridge Partners

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SAN FRANCISCO — Satellite communications provider Speedcast International Ltd. is scheduled to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy by March 31 after winning approval to reorganize under a new owner, private equity firm Centerbridge Partners.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas approved the Australian company’s plan to install Joe Spytek, Speedcast president and chief commercial officer, as the new CEO.

After reorganizing, “Speedcast is well-positioned to maximize its full potential as the company works to build a platform that addresses customers’ most demanding operations and application requirements now, and in the future,” Spytek said in a statement.

Under the terms of the reorganization plan announced Jan. 25, Centerbridge Partners, one of Speedcast’s largest creditors prior to filing for bankruptcy protection, is making an additional investment of $500 million in the company. With that funding, Speedcast will repay its $285 million debtor-in-possession financing, make cash payments to vendors and reduce its $634 million senior secured debt, according to the news release.

Speedcast’s unsecured creditors will share in recoveries from a litigation trust. Under Speedcast’s reorganization plan, the company’s existing shareholders will have no equity interest in the reorganized company.

Speedcast announced plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic weakened demand for connectivity services to cruise lines, oil rigs and other customer platforms.