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Bankruptcy court approves sale of Loral satellites to Intelsat
Posted: Sat, Oct 25, 2003, 1:40 PM ET (1740 GMT)
Loral logo A bankruptcy court approved Friday the planned sale of five Loral satellites to Intelsat. Under the agreement, Loral will sell to Intelsat the Telstar 5, 6, 7, and 13 satellites currently in orbit, as well as the Telstar 8 satellite scheduled for launch next year, to Intelsat for "up to" $1.1 billion. The agreement also includes the rights to another orbital slot, at 77 degrees west, that had belonged to Loral but was not actively used by the company. The agreement was first announced in July, when Loral filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; at that time the deal included a sixth satellite, Telstar 4, which failed on orbit in September. Intelsat desired the satellites so they could gain a foothold in the North American market, while Loral needed the money to pay down its debts. EchoStar challenged the deal and at one point made a $1.85-billion bid for the entire company, but backed down after Intelsat upped its offer and EchoStar was also rejected in a bid to purchase a satellite Loral was manufacturing for rival DirecTV. After the deal is concluded Loral will maintain five other satellites that serve other regions, as well as its satellite manufacturing business.
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