Speedcast has finally emerged from bankruptcy protection with new finance, to return to providing satellite communications to maritime and offshore industries
It has completed a restructuring process and come out of US bankruptcy Chapter 11 protection under the ownership of Centerbridge Partners.
Following Centerbridge’s US$500M equity investment in the company and sale of certain assets, Speedcast now has a clean balance sheet with no secured debt and a healthy cash balance. It also has potential access to Centerbridge’s US$28Bn capital.
Speedcast is optimally positioning as a stable, long-term partner for its employees, customers and vendors, said Speedcast chief executive Joe Spytek.
“We are pleased to have reached the completion of this process which is the culmination of a lot of hard work from our entire team,” he said, while thanking customers, employees and partners for their support through the Chapter 11 process.
“I am eager to work with Centerbridge to position the business for success and give our customers the tools to advance the performance of their operations in today’s changing market landscape,” he said.
Over the past 12 months, Speedcast has taken meaningful steps to reduce its cost structure and strengthen its operations after racking up huge debts as communications demand in cruise shipping and offshore industry dried up in 2020.
Speedcast’s debt woes and restructuring plans led to some asset sales. In November 2020, Speedcast sold a major satellite communications service package to Inmarsat as part of its exit from bankruptcy protection.
Through that arrangement, Inmarsat took over responsibility for servicing all ships and vessels signed up by Speedcast for Fleet Xpress, FleetBroadband and Fleet One services.
Now under new ownership, Speedcast will focus on helping maritime clients to evolve their remote operations through connectivity. Speedcast said it would help clients with fully connected systems to harness future-ready technologies and applications.
It has integrated mobility networks to build a comprehensive, unified global platform for vessel connectivity.
Centerbridge senior managing director Jared Hendricks expects there will be growth for Speedcast now it is out of bankruptcy protection. He said Centerbridge would “support Speedcast’s management team in building on the company’s strong foundation to realise the growth opportunities that exist as they move forward”.
Speedcast is advised by Weil, Gotshal & Manges as global legal counsel and Herbert Smith Freehills as co-counsel. Michael Healy of FTI Consulting is Speedcast’s chief restructuring officer, and FTI Consulting is Speedcast’s financial and operational advisor. Moelis Australia Advisory and Moelis & Co are Speedcast’s investment bankers.
Centerbridge is advised by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
Speedcast said it enables fast, seamless pole-to-pole coverage from a global hybrid satellite, fibre optics, cellular, microwave, multi-protocol label switching, and IP transport networks, with direct access to public cloud platforms.
Centerbridge Partners is a private investment management firm with around US$28Bn in capital under management with offices in New York and London.
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