Liberty Eyes Astrolink Assets

Author:
Publish date:

Liberty Satellite & Technology Inc. said late Tuesday that it has
signed nonbinding letters of intent with its partners in Astrolink International
LLC.

It has agreed with Lockheed Martin Corp., TRW Inc. and Telespazio S.p.A. to
restructure the company, which was created in 1999 to develop a
satellite-delivered broadband service.

If the agreement is consummated, Liberty Satellite will acquire all assets of
Astrolink and all claims related to Astrolink will be settled. The companies did
not disclose the terms.

Liberty Satellite director of investor relations John Beattie said
negotiations were ongoing, but he could not give a time frame for when a
definitive deal would be announced or even assurances that a deal would be
reached.

But Beattie added that Liberty Satellite has always believed in the Astrolink
concept, and the company is also working to restructure WildBlue Communications
Inc., although those talks have not reached the LOI stage.

WildBlue also aims to provide high-speed Internet access via satellite.
EchoStar Communications Corp. announced earlier this year that it had written
down its investments in WildBlue and halted any further funding of the
company.

According to a statement by Lockheed Martin, the Astrolink deal is subject to
third-party and government consents, as well as the termination or renegotiation
of Astrolink's prior procurement contracts on terms acceptable to Liberty
Satellite.

Liberty said in a press release that it would pursue a
revised operating plan for Astrolink 'taking into account current financial and
market factors.' Beattie could not offer details of a new operating plan.

Related