Canadian government to provide funding for Telesat Lightspeed network

Satellite operator Telesat reports that it has received confirmation from the Canadian government that it will be provided with new funding to support the ongoing development of its Telesat Lightspeed network.

Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry informed the company that the government is prepared to invest C$2.14 billion (approx. US$1.6 billion) in Telesat Lightspeed by way of a loan to Telesat LEO Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Telesat.

Telesat LEO Inc, the entity that is developing and will own and operate the Telesat Lightspeed Low Earth Orbit (LEO) global broadband satellite constellation, will also provide the government with warrants for 10% of the common shares of Telesat LEO based upon an equity valuation of US$3 billion.

“Telesat Lightspeed is a highly innovative and disruptive global broadband network and the largest space programme in Canada’s long and distinguished history as a space faring nation,” said Dan Goldberg, Telesat’s President and CEO.

“I am delighted with the engagement we have had with the government of Canada on this flagship programme, which will help bridge the global digital divide, create and sustain thousands of high-quality jobs in Canada, spur domestic innovation, investment and exports, and ensure that Canada is at the forefront of the rapidly growing new space economy. The Government of Canada has been a strong supporter of the Telesat Lightspeed programme, and we applaud their leadership and foresight.”

“We estimate that, in addition to the roughly US$2 billion of capital cost savings, we will realise roughly US$750 million of savings in reduced borrowing costs relative to the original Telesat Lightspeed programme.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

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