Iridium JV Confirms New Investors; Matt Desch Comments

Matt Desch - Iridium, ExecutiveMosaicAn Iridium Communications and NAV CANADA joint venture has signed three air navigation service providers as new investors for the international air traffic surveillance platform developer.

Aireon will receive $120 million in preferred interests from the Irish Aviation Authority, Naviair and ENAV in tranches between the years 2014 and 2017 and subject to meeting different conditions, Iridium said Friday.

Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium, said the new investment signifies the increasing interest of ANSPs with Aireon’s technology for the aviation industry.

“As an investor ourselves, Aireon continues to be a big part of Iridium’s growth strategy,” he added.

Aireon is expected to gain access to about $270 million worth of funds in 2018 and will then turn over $120 million to Iridium as interest.

After redemption, NAV CANADA will then hold 51% of the joint venture’s diluted ownership, Iridium will retain 24.5%, ENAV will obtain 12.5% and IAA and Naviair will gain 6%.

Aireon will also pay $200 million to Iridium for hosting fees related to the launch and installation of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast receiver payloads into Iridium’s NEXT satellites.

The company will also shell out about $300 million until 2030 for ongoing data service charges, if Aireon grows into an international business.

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