Advanced Television

Telesat testimony could be vital to SES

June 21, 2021

SES, in its assorted legal filings with Intelsat’s bankruptcy court, insists that it has sufficient proofs of Intelsat’s deliberate duplicity in how the end-game in the C-band allocation of the FCC’s $9.7 billion payments was managed.

SES is asking the court for a Summary Judgement of its claim and the court has scheduled August 19th for a Zoom hearing on the matter and ahead of an already pre-agreed trial in front of the bankruptcy judge scheduled to start on September 20th.

“Intelsat’s abuse of the parties’ trust and interdependence, cultivated over more than a year of working hand-in-glove, demonstrates a wilful, deliberate, bad-faith breach of fiduciary duties and calls for punitive damages,” SES argues in its filing.

SES says that testimony and depositions it has now gathered provide proof that Intelsat as early as January 2020 – and prior to the FCC’s actual order on how the C-band frequencies would be cleared – had decided to hold onto a greater percentage of the FCC’s cash.

Included in its June 17th submission to the court are 155 documents and statements from the likes of Dan Goldberg (Telesat CEO), legal documents from the C-Band Association’s lawyers Hogan Lovells, transcripts from depositions made by Intelsat’s head of media relations Dianne VanBeber, Intelsat CEO Steve Spengler, and emails from various senior staffers at Intelsat and SES including Dave McGlade (Intelsat’s chairman).

SES is also alleging that Intelsat had also pre-decided that even with the FCC’s cash payment it would still have to enter bankruptcy reconstruction.

SES, in its latest filings but also in previous filings to the court, says that a February 5th 2020 telephone call from Intelsat CEO Steve Spengler confirmed to SES CEO Steve Collar that the pre-agreed 50/50 share of the FCC’s inventive payments would still be recognised by Intelsat.

That promise was broken barely two days later when a 3am (DC-time) telephone call was made by Spengler to Collar saying that the 50/50 agreement was terminated because Intelsat, facing bankruptcy, needed every dollar it could achieve.

SES pulls no punches in its latest set of filings to the bankruptcy court. Intelsat, however, firmly denies the claims and says that the FCC decision to itself auction off the C-band frequencies meant that any previous agreements died.

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