Intelsat files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Satellite operator Intelsat has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, making it the latest casualty of severe business disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Intelsat Epic satellite platformThe company listed assets and liabilities in the range of $10 billion to $50 billion, according to a filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Intelsat said it had received $1 billion in debtor-in-possession financing.

The pandemic has inflicted financial pain across sectors including retail and aviation, with many companies considering bankruptcy options as a way to restructure their debt load.

The company’s Chapter 11 filing comes more than a month after it suspended its 2020 outlook and said it would delay filing its first-quarter results.

Intelsat is among a number of companies that will participate in the accelerated clearing of C-band spectrum under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order to support a build-out of 5G wireless infrastructure in the United States.

“To meet the FCC’s accelerated clearing deadlines and ultimately be eligible to receive $4.87 billion of accelerated relocation payments, Intelsat needs to spend more than $1 billion on clearing activities,” the Luxembourg-based company said in a statement.

Intelsat General, which serves the company’s U.S. commercial, government and allied military customers, is not part of the Chapter 11 proceedings, the company said.