Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Kacific Broadband Satellites Group (Kacific) on credit facilities totalling US$160 million to finance the construction, launch, ground system and initial operation for “Kacific1”, a Boeing-built next-generation high-throughput Ka-band satellite.
A group of financial institutions, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and GuarantCo, provided the debt. The ADB facility comprises a loan from ADB and a parallel loan from Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP), one of ADB’s co-financing vehicles dedicated to private sector infrastructure in Asia and the Pacific. GuarantCo, a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, will provide a US$50 million partial credit guarantee to MEAG.
Kacific1 is the first satellite project in which ADB and Guarantco have participated, and also Kacific’s first satellite. It will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to geostationary orbit in mid-December 2019. Kacific1 will stream broadband to 25 nations in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands and provide the most powerful signal level ever achieved in a commercial satellite in the region.
Led by Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Head of Infrastructure, Mining and Commodities Nick Merritt, the deal team included Head of Singapore Yu-En Ong, Singapore partners Nicola Davies and Craig Loveless, Hong Kong partner Peter Haslam and Sydney partner Martyn Taylor, who were supported by counsels Janelene Chen and Selene Tan, senior associates Shahin Foroughian and Dietrich Marquardt, and associates Hazel Lim, William Holmden and Faiza Damji.
Mark Wong, Chief Financial Officer at Kacific, commented:
“We are very pleased to have met the challenging deadlines involved in this landmark deal. This financing recognises the impact Kacific1 will have on development within the region and the benefits that it will bring to under-served communities in Asia and the Pacific.”
Nick Merritt commented:
“We are delighted to have assisted Kacific on achieving a successful close on this complex, multi-jurisdictional and market leading transaction. The support of Kacific1’s financing by the Asian Development Bank and GuarantCo is an indication of the potential for Kacific to make a real difference to communities in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, introducing them to affordable internet services that will in turn transform education, healthcare and develop sustainable economic opportunities.”