Iridium Communications Inc. announced today that it has received in excess of $1.8 billion of commitments from a syndicate of preeminent international banks in connection with the credit facility that will be used to finance the construction of the company's next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. The facility will bear an interest rate below six percent, the majority of which will be fixed rate and will have a repayment term from 2017 through 2024. Iridium expects to sign the credit facility in September and close shortly thereafter. The closing of the facility will be subject to customary conditions as well as conditions relating to the then-current Euro-to-U.S. dollar exchange rate.
Matt Desch, Iridium's CEO, commented, "This represents another important milestone for Iridium, and we are extremely pleased with the interest in our facility and corresponding support for Iridium. The development of Iridium NEXT is in full swing with our prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space, and we're on target to launch the first Iridium NEXT satellites in early 2015."