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SpeedCast acquires NewSat teleport assets

Hong Kong-based satellite communications company SpeedCast has acquired NewSat's Australian teleport assets from the company's administrators.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

SpeedCast has acquired the teleport assets in Adelaide and Perth from the ill-fated NewSat satellite company's administrators.

NewSat, the firm behind the Jabiru satellites, was placed into receivership in April, with PPB Advisory appointed as the administrator, and McGrathNicol appointed as its receiver. The company failed in attempts to refinance its AU$611 million Jabiru-1 satellite project.

Hong Kong-based SpeedCast announced to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Friday that it had acquired NewSat's teleport facilities, land, buildings, customers, and supplier contracts from the receivers.

SpeedCast said the customers included a strong reseller network, and blue chip enterprise and government customers.

"These customers are being provided satellite services out of two world-class teleport facilities in Adelaide and Perth," SpeedCast stated.

The company said the acquisition of the teleport assets would improve SpeedCast's coverage across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.

The Jabiru-1 satellite was touted as Australia's first commercial Ka-band satellite, and Australian Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull at one point in opposition floated that NewSat could have been used, instead of the government spending over half a billion dollars on two satellites of its own.

"There are Australian companies, there's one Australian company in particular, NewSat, which was in the press today, which provides satellite services to the United States Defence Department in the Middle East, in Afghanistan, and so forth, so they're presumably pretty capable at what they're doing. Anyway, they've been brushed, they don't get a look in here," Turnbull said in February 2012.

At one point, NewSat even offered to purchase the satellites from NBN.

Since coming to government, Turnbull has had an about-face on the matter, boasting on the success of the satellites to be launched later this year and early next year.

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