Kacific secures loans ahead of debut satellite launch

Kacific Broadband Satellites Group has obtained long-term loans totaling $160 million from an Asian development bank and a private sector European institutional investor as it prepares to launch its first payload, Kacific1.

The Kacific1 satellite system is designed to bring high-speed internet to underserved communities in 25 Asian and Pacific nations, especially island nations such as Indonesia and the Philippines.

Kacific will use the $160 million financing package, which closed on December 2, to repay short-term loans it used to fund the construction of Kacific1, related infrastructure and launch costs.

Boeing built the Ka-band satellite, which will be launched into geostationary orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The Asia Development Bank provided $50 million of the financing – $25 million directly and $25 million through its Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund, known as LEAP. The latter is supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

A further portion came from European asset manager MEAG. This tranche was supported by a $50 million partial credit guarantee from GuarantCo.

The remaining amount took the form of a mezzanine loan from Australia’s Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation as trustee of the Aria Investments Trust. The deal was managed for Aria by HRL Morrison & Co.

Norton Rose Fulbright was Kacific’s legal adviser on the financing while Australian law firm Gilbert + Tobin advised HRL Morrison.

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