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Avanti to raise funds for second satellite

23 декабря 2009

Avanti Communications, the UK-based satellite operator, said it expected to see a significant boost to profits after raising the funds to launch a second satellite into space.

The AIM-traded company said it planned to raise £86m ($138m) via a share placing and confirmed it had negotiated a £194m debt facility to fund the building, launch and operational costs of running the new satellite.

Next year Avanti is scheduled to send the already built Hylas 1 into orbit from a launch station in French Guyana. It will provide broadband services to customers in Europe.

The group hopes the launch of Hylas 1 will give it pre-tax profits of about £20m. However, Avanti said Hylas 2, which it expects to launch in 2012, will increase capacity and revenue three fold and help it achieve a pre-tax profit of about £140m.

The company also said that the second satellite would take its potential coverage beyond the UK and western Europe and into eastern Europe, the Middle East and parts of north and east Africa.

“The ubiquity of a satellites means we will be able to provide broadband coverage to remote rural areas just as cheaply as we can to urban areas,” said David Williams, Avanti’s chief executive.

“This technology is part of the future of broadband access and we expect to have at least five years before any other company starts launching its own satellite; plenty of time to build up a market leading position,” Mr Williams added.

To help finance the building of Hylas 2 the company said it was placing 21.5m shares, priced at 400p each, compared with Friday’s closing price of 438p, which would result in an equity dilution about 32 per cent of the enlarged share capital.

In addition, Avanti said it had agreed a 10-year, £194m debt facility with French and US export credit agencies – quasi-governmental institutions that act as intermediaries between national governments and exporters.

“Rasing money in the current market is hard, and it says good things about its prospects that Avanti has been so successful in getting capital,” said Mike Jeremy, an analyst at Daniel Stewart.

Источник: Financial Times

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