London-based speciality satellite operator Avanti Communications has lost a major investor. Prudential PLC has lowered its stake in Avanti from around 17 per cent of the issued share capital to below 5 per cent.
News has also emerged that Avanti is involved in a legal action (at the London International Court of Arbitration) seeking $17 million in compensation from the Indonesian government for alleged “contractual misdeeds” in regards to the Artemis satellite positioned at 123 degrees East, and contracted payments due to Avanti.
Indonesian reports say that Sigit Priyono, the Coordinating Ministry of Political, Legal, and Security affairs assistant deputy coordinator of telecommunication and informatics, the Avanti rent payment was postponed because of budget administration issues.
Artemis was bought by Avanti from the European Space Agency (ESA) in October 2103 for a nominal sum and which was originally positioned at 21.5 degrees East. At the time the ESA said the satellite had some 3 years left of operating life.
Avanti has recently gone through a major ‘debt for equity’ swap with investors and debt-holders. It has also seen the successful launch on April 5th of its Hylas 4 satellite into orbit, and which reached its allocated position on April 20th.