O3b Networks Limited
14 February 2011
Bedell Cristin, working with Allen & Overy's London, Luxembourg and New York offices, provided Jersey law advice to lenders in connection with a US$1.2 billion satellite project financing secured by O3b Networks Limited. The lenders included certain Development Finance Institutions including AfDB, IFC, Development Bank of Southern Africa, DEG, FMO, PROPARCO and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and a group of senior export credit backed lenders CA-CIB, HSBC France, Dexia and ING. Equity is being provided by a group of existing shareholders including Google, North Bridge Venture Partners, Liberty Global, HSBC Principal Investments, SES and new equity investors including the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Sofina and Satya Capital.
Jersey based O3b Networks, a satellite venture backed by investors, including Google and SES S.A., the world's largest satellite operator, is to use the funding to bring affordable internet access to the 'other three billion' people not served by current broadband infrastructure. O3b will launch eight satellites closer to earth (Medium Earth Orbiting Satellites), providing a stronger signal than existing commercial satellites.
The complex financing was divided into a number of different tranches, comprising $510m and $115m senior debt facilities, a $145m mezzanine debt facility and $410m in equity financing.
Bedell Cristin Banking partner Mark Dunlop led on the deal, assisted by senior lawyers Malcolm Ellis and Bernard Woo and legal assistant Lauren Taylor.
Mark Dunlop, commented: "We are thrilled to have worked on this cutting edge project. Our involvement demonstrates again our strength in depth and ability to deliver on the most complex and demanding finance transactions."