Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised DNB Bank ASA as mandated lead arranger and lender on the financing of the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission.
The project, which will benefit from support from the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency (GIEK), is being executed and will be operated by Space Norway, a state-owned limited company that is managed by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. Space Norway is building and launching two satellites designed to operate in highly elliptical orbits to offer mobile broadband coverage to civilian, government and military users in the Arctic.
"This was a groundbreaking transaction involving the financing of two dual-use satellites that will enable important communication capabilities to be introduced to a vast and remote region which has so far had little or no access to broadband," said White & Case partner Mukund Dhar, who co-led the Firm's deal team. "The transaction demonstrates the cross-border strength of our project development and finance practice and our ability to advise on the most innovative of projects."
The two satellites will be built by Northrop Grumman and are scheduled to be launched by SpaceX in late 2022. A highly elliptical orbit will enable the two-satellite system to provide broadband connectivity at latitudes beyond where geostationary satellites can reach. Space Norway will cooperate with the satellite operator Inmarsat and the Norwegian Ministry of Defense to offer the mobile broadband coverage.
The White & Case team which advised on the transaction was led by partners Mukund Dhar and Tom Bartlett (both London) and counsel Meredith Campanale (London), with support from partners Alison Weal (London), Raymond Azar and Sylvia Chin (both New York), and associates Kamran Ahmad, Andrzej Omietanski, Dayle Perles Fattal, Tom Wilkinson (all London), John Donaleski and Jeff Kaplan (both New York).
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