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FMO and partners finance connection of 3 billion people to the internet with satellite

Thursday 02 December 2010 16:29

O3b Networks has raised a total of US$ 1.2 billion from a group of investors and banks. This will see the company through to the launch of its first satellites which will provide low-latency, fiber quality, internet connectivity between developing markets and the global internet infrastructure.

O3b Networks has raised a total of US$ 1.2 billion from a group of investors and banks. This will see the company through to the launch of its first satellites which will provide low-latency, fiber quality, internet connectivity between developing markets and the global internet infrastructure. O3b stands for the “Other 3 billion”, a reference to nearly half of the world’s population that is not adequately served with broadband Internet access. Through partnerships with telecommunications providers and internet service providers (ISPs), ‘O3b’s technology will provide the speed of fiber optics with the reach of satellite, serving billions of end users around the world.

 

The total funding now comprises a USD 510m Coface-backed Senior Debt facility, a USD 115m Senior Debt Facility, a USD 145m mezzanine tranche and more than USD 400m in equity financing, of which USD 240m is new equity investment. The Senior Debt and Mezzanine facilities are being supplied by a number of international banks and developmental institutions. FMO will provide USD 7.5 mln of senior debt and USD 17.5 mln of mezzanine debt. The O3b system will reduce the price of international bandwidth for internet users in emerging markets by approximately 60% and will provide people in remote areas with better and cheaper access to mobile communications and internet. The additional equity is being provided by a mix of new and existing shareholders.

 

O3b’s satellites will be placed in orbit 8,000 kilometers from the earth, four times closer to the planet than regular geostationary satellites, giving customers extremely low latency and providing access to approximately 70 per cent of the world’s population with fiber quality internet connectivity.

 

About O3b Networks Ltd.

O3b Networks is building a new fiber-quality, satellite-based, global Internet backbone for telecommunications operators (telcos) and Internet service providers (ISPs) in emerging markets. The O3b Networks system will combine global reach and the speed of a fiber-optic network. With investments and operational support from SES, Google, Liberty Global, HSBC Principal Investments, Northbridge Venture Partners, Allen & Company, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Sofina and Satya Capital, the O3b system will provide telcos and ISPs with a low-cost, high-speed alternative to connect their 3G, WiMAX and fixed-line networks to the rest of the world. This will allow billions of consumers and businesses in more than 150 countries to benefit from high-speed Internet connectivity for educational, medical and commercial applications. O3b Networks’ headquarters is in St. John, Jersey, Channel Islands.

 

For further information please contact:

Luisa Sorrentino, VP, Marketing Communications, O3b Networks Ltd. luisa.sorrentino@o3bnetworks.com

www.o3bnetworks.com.

Craig Breheny, Tom Batchelar, Michelangelo Bendandi, Brunswick PR

+44 (0) 207 404 5959

O3b@brunswickgroup.com

 

About FMO

The Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) is the entrepreneurial development bank of the Netherlands. FMO invests risk capital in companies and financial institutions in developing countries. With an investment portfolio of € 4.6 billion, FMO is one of the largest bilateral private sector development banks worldwide. Thanks in part to its relationship with the Dutch government, FMO is able to take risks which commercial financiers are not - or not yet - prepared to take. FMO's mission: to create flourishing enterprises, which can serve as engines of sustainable growth in their countries. www.fmo.nl

 

Press contact:

Nicoline van Slingelandt

Communications Officer (PR)

T: +31 70 314 9790  

E: n.van.slingelandt@fmo.nl   

 

A selection of O3b in the media:

 

BBC 29.11.2010: O3b internet satellites 'four times closer' to Earth

BBC 29.11.2010: 'Fibre in the sky' project wins financial backing

De Standaard 30.11.2010: O3B geeft ‘andere helft’ toegang tot internet

Project Finance International 01.12.2010: O3b seals satellite financing

 

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