PARIS (07/11/2000) - Craig McCaw's satellite telecommunications holding company ICO-Teledesic Global Ltd. has rounded up about US$315 million in new investments, including $100 million from Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates, ICO-Teledesic announced Tuesday.
Gates, a founding investor with McCaw in Teledesic, was joined by private equity investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Inc. (CD&R), which committed one of the funds it manages to invest $150 million. Other investments totaling $65 million came from existing ICO-Teledesic investors, Indian media entrepreneur Subhash Chandra and Burtington Resources Inc., a private investment vehicle of Swiss investors Jack and Philippe Setton. CD&R has an option to invest a further $200 million in the satellite telecom holding company at a later stage.
ICO-Teledesic Global also received $500 million from McCaw's investment company Eagle River Investments LLC. This is not new funding, but part of a previously announced $1.2 billion rescue package used by ICO-Teledesic Global to secure a controlling interest in New ICO, formerly ICO Global Communications Ltd., which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May of this year. [See "McCaw, Others Pay US$1.2 Billion in ICO Bailout," Nov. 1, 1999.]As part of that bailout deal, McCaw and his affiliated companies, Teledesic and Eagle River, agreed to head a group of international investors to pull ICO out of financial peril. McCaw also had formed an investor group to rescue Iridium LLC, a satellite telephone and paging company whose principal financial backer was Motorola Inc. However, Eagle River pulled out of submitting a proposal to acquire Iridium.
Being unable to find a qualified buyer to take on its debt, Iridium announced in March that it would begin to shut down its service. Last month, Iridium asked a U.S. bankruptcy court to approve a letter of intent which would see New York merchant bank Castle Harlan Inc. acquire most of the assets of the failed satellite communications company.
ICO-Teledesic, in Bellevue, Washington, can be reached at +1-425-602-0000 or on the Internet at http://www.teledesic.com/ or http://www.ico.com/.