Mexican satellite operator Satmex (Satelites Mexicanos) has filed for US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Their plan for the struggling operator is to mount a pre-pack, where it raises fresh cash and speedily emerges – possibly within 30-90 days – as a new business with much-reduced debt.
Court papers filed with the Delaware Bankruptcy Court say ‘new’ Satmex will raise $325m in new high-yield debt financing, plus an additional $96m in new equity. The company will then pay a matching $325m to clear its priority borrowings and use the balance to complete its Satmex 8 craft due for launch in 2012. Satmex currently operates 3 craft.
However, this is not the first time Satmex has walked the road to debtor’s court. Five years ago, in August 2006, it did much the same thing.
In February 2010 EchoStar’s satellite division agreed to buy Satmex in a $374m deal that fell through at the 11th hour.