Astrolink and Partners Close $900 Million Equity

Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications, TRW, Telespazio and Astrolink LLC today announced they have reached a strategic milestone by closing an equity investment that allows Astrolink to provide the world's first global, on-demand, wireless broadband service to enterprises and consumers worldwide. (Photo: ) As a result of the agreement, Astrolink has received $900 million in cash equity, which was announced in May 1999. Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications owns 46% of the new company, TRW and Telespazio, a company of the Telecom Italia Group, each own 27% of Astrolink. This milestone comes after a series of necessary approvals from the European Union and the U.S. State Department dealing, respectively, with matters including the competitive impact of Astrolink in the European market and technology transfer between companies of the United States and those of Europe. "We are extremely pleased to have completed this transaction that clearly illustrates the level of confidence and desire our partners have in working together," said Celso Azevedo, president and CEO of Astrolink, following yesterday's signing ceremony at Astrolink's headquarters in Bethesda. "The documents are signed, sealed and delivered, and Astrolink now is an independent company poised to be 'first to market' on a global scale. Now is the time to focus on building our network, developing our business, and completing our negotiations with additional strategic equity partners," he continued. The annual potential for all global broadband services is expected to grow to nearly US$200 billion by 2005, and space- based broadband services will capture 10-15 percent of that market. "Astrolink expects to take a significant percentage of the space-based broadband service market," said Azevedo. Based in Bethesda, Maryland, Astrolink will focus on the high- growth area of global broadband data services, including high- speed Internet access, corporate data networks and multimedia applications. Customers will be able to install small satellite dishes at businesses and homes, allowing quick and efficient connection to high-speed networks. Astrolink will provide broadband, multimedia services to businesses and consumers worldwide beginning in 2003. Astrolink will also market its services through Internet, telecom and information technology service providers around the world. ots Original Text Service: Astrolink LLC Internet: Contact: Layli Sobhani of Astrolink LLC, 301-581-4028, e-mail:; Charles Manor of Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications, 301-581-2727, e-mail:; Dan McClain of TRW, 310-812-4702, e-mail:; or Fabrizio Tomada of Telespazio, 011-39-06-4079-3335, e-mail: Photo: AP PhotoExpress Network, PRN1; PressLink Online, 800-888-6195 PR Newswire Photo Desk, 888-776-6555 or 201-369-3467 Web site:



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