Press Release

ProtoStar Closes On US$210 Million Satellite Financing

By SpaceRef Editor
November 16, 2006
Filed under , ,

New Asian DTH Satellite Operator Aggressively Developing Its First Satellite

San Francisco, CA, November 15, 2006 — ProtoStar Ltd., a Bermuda corporation with principal U.S. operations in San Francisco, moved a step closer to its Asian satellite service by successfully closing on US$210 million in financing to purchase and launch its first satellite. This financing was preceded by a US$40 million Series B round that was completed earlier in the year for a total cumulative financing of US$250 million. The Company’s initial plan is to create a three-satellite constellation serving the fast-growing and under-served Asian direct-to-home (DTH) satellite-TV market.

The recently completed financing consisted of $160 million of senior secured convertible notes sold to a range of institutional investors, for which Jefferies & Company Inc. served as placement agent, and a $50 million equity contribution from several leading venture capital and private equity funds. Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP and Cooley Goodward Kronish, LLP acted as the company’s legal advisors in the financing.

ProtoStar will use the proceeds to purchase and launch its first geostationary satellite, for which ProtoStar has already pre-leased a significant portion of its capacity. ProtoStar has signed definitive agreements with China Telecommunications Broadcast Satellite Corporation to purchase a completed but un-launched satellite and with Space Systems/Loral, a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications Inc., to tailor the satellite’s components for the proposed “footprint” over Asia. ProtoStar expects to complete construction and launch the satellite, renamed ProtoStar I, in early 2008.

Philip Father, ProtoStar’s CEO, described the company’s funding as timely. “This is surely one of the more innovative financings of the year in the satellite sector. In a challenging high-yield debt market, financings require multiple and often diverse sources of funds, ranging from debt to various forms of equity. This transaction embraced all of these elements and will contribute to making advanced satellite-TV service available in Asia.”

More… ProtoStar I is an SS/L-manufactured FS 1300, a satellite utilized by many of today’s DTH operators. ProtoStar I and the Company’s other two satellites will be positioned in orbital slots that will provide coverage to South Asia, South East Asia and Indochina, an area with a population of over 3 billion.

About ProtoStar

ProtoStar, a Bermuda corporation with principal U.S. operations in San Francisco, California, was formed to acquire and operate high-power geostationary satellites optimized for DTH satellite television in the Asia-Pacific region. The firm is led by seasoned veterans from the satellite, direct-to-home television, telecommunications and finance industries. For more information, visit:


Mr. Charles Sweeney

Reid Stephenson

SpaceRef staff editor.