Satellite operator Intelsat completed the sale of a controlling stake to Serafina Holdings, a new entity formed by private-equity firms BC Partners and Silver Lake.
The deal, which was initially announced last June, valued the equity of Intelsat parent Intelsat Holdings at $5 billion. Current shareholders of Intelsat Holdings -- funds associated with Apax Partners Worldwide, Apax Partners, Apollo Management V, Madison Dearborn Partners, and Permira Advisers -- are selling 100% of their interests in the company to Serafina.
Intelsat’s current executives will remain in place and have an equity interest in Serafina Holdings, which is expected to be renamed Intelsat Global Ltd. As part of the deal, Intelsat (Bermuda) Ltd. assumed certain debt obligations from Serafina Holdings to effect the transaction and refinance certain existing debt of Intelsat. The assumed debt includes a bridge financing comprised of two tranches -- a $2.805 billion cash-pay senior unsecured bridge loan and a $2.155 billion PIK-election bridge loan.
“This transaction closes at a time when Intelsat is seeing strong momentum,” Intelsat CEO David McGlade said in a statement. “We have improved the operating profile of our company based on initiatives such as our fleet-management program and the introduction of new services. Speaking on behalf of Intelsat’s management, we are looking forward to working with BC Partners and Silver Lake as we continue to execute our growth strategy.”
Credit Suisse acted as financial advisor to Intelsat in connection with the transaction. Intelsat’s legal advisors included Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCoy; Wiley Rein; and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Merrill Lynch and Perella Weinberg Partners acted as financial advisors, Latham & Watkins as legal advisor and PricewaterhouseCoopers as accounting and tax advisor to Serafina Holdings.
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