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Avanti refinances, and at better rates

Troubled speciality satellite operator Avanti Communications has agreed a new $100 million (89.5m) refinancing package. The borrowing replaces an existing $50 million of debt and sees the London-based operator lower its debt interest costs from an average of 10 per cent to 7.5 per cent.

The new borrowing also pushes back the payment schedule to a start date of March 31st next year.

Paul Walsh, Avanti’s chairman, said “This transaction is a positive step for the company to lower its cost of capital with a prominent global investor and provide additional headroom in a crucial period with the launch of HYLAS 4 pending and customer demand for our products recovering.”

That “crucial headroom” referred to by Walsh is its cash burn, and prior to the refinancing Avanti would have been out of funds within the next 6 months.

The share price, having earlier this week reached a rock-bottom 8p per share, recover in early trading June 16, by 3p (37.5 per cent) to an initial 12.5p although fell back to 10.25p as the day went on.

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