Last October Intelsat made a $50 million “synergistic” loan to BlackSky, owned by Spaceflight Industries. Now it wants the Court to amend the loan obligations and permit certain sales plans to proceed despite the bankruptcy.
Spaceflight describes itself as a ‘next generation’ space company with launch facilities, and its BlackSky division specialises in images from space, industrial IoT and event monitoring. BlackSky wants a constellation of 60 Earth-observing satellites. Four are already orbiting and a further 6 expected to launch later this year.
Japan-based conglomerate Mitsui & Co loaned a separate $26 million to Spaceflight on October 31st 2019. Earlier this year Mitsui joined with transport and logistics business Yamasa to buy Spaceflight Industries in a 50/50 joint-venture.
Spaceflight had expected the sale of its “Industries” division to Mitsui to wrap in Q2 this year, and the deal has already been cleared by certain US regulators. Intelsat told the Court that the sale of Spaceflight’s launch business is ready to close subject to the Court’s approval.
Spaceflight owes cash to LeoStella, a joint-venture between Spaceflight and Thales Alenia Space.
Intelsat’s filing to the court said: “The Spaceflight Loan Agreement requires that proceeds from the Launch Business Sale would first be used to repay any outstanding amounts owed on the Mitsui Loan, after which excess proceeds would be used to repay overdue amounts owed to Leostella LCC, a satellite manufacturing joint venture (the “Joint Venture”) in which Industries owns a 50 per cent interest. Thales Alenia Space France owns the remaining 50 percent interest in the Joint Venture,”