Satellite operator Spacecom says it does not know what caused the failure of its communication satellite Amos-5, which was launched in 2011 and provides coverage to clients in Africa.
KAZAKHSTAN (SPACECOM) – Israeli satellite operator Spacecom has lost contact with one of its communication satellites, but said on Sunday (November 22) that its loss would be covered by a $158 million insurance policy and so should have a minimal impact on its finances.
The company said it does not know what caused the failure in Amos-5, which was launched in 2011 and provides coverage to clients in Africa.
Spacecom has three other satellites functioning in orbit and plans to launch a fourth at the start of 2016. Amos-5 was the only satellite in the series not built in Israel, industry officials said. It was manufactured by ISS-Reshetnev, one of Russia’s leading satellite providers.
“In the event of a total loss of the satellite, there will be a negligible effect on the company’s equity,” Spacecom said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
Spacecom, which has a market value of 1.1 billion shekels ($283 million), said it would use most of the insurance money to cover a forced early repayment of a $140 million bond series directly linked to Amos-5.
“The company is continuing to examine the overall aspects of the event and will update with any development,” it said.
Spacecom is controlled by Israeli holding company Eurocom Group, which according to Israeli media reports has been looking to sell its 64.3 percent stake in the satellite operator.
Spacecom had revenue of $54 million over the first half of 2015 and made a loss of $1.4 million. Amos-5 accounts for about $136 million — about a fifth — of the company’s order backlog.
The company is expected to launch Amos-6 in 2016 and has already signed a deal with Facebook to provide internet coverage to large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.