Sky And Space Global Starts Bankruptcy Proceedings

Blue Diamond
Credit: Sky and Space Global

LONDON—Australian nanosat startup Sky and Space Global has entered voluntary administration—a process similar to Chapter 11 U.S. bankruptcy—after posting losses of more than AUS$30 million ($18.5 million) in 2019.

The company, led by CEO Meir Moalem, announced it was declaring voluntary administration—an Australian process for distressed or insolvent companies to restructure their finances—on April 7. Melbourne-based chartered accountants Hall Chadwick said they would undertake a “preliminary review and assessment of the company’s operations with a view to determining the extent to which the company can be recapitalized.” The company halted trading on the Australian Stock Exchange the same day, although trading of shares had been suspended since April 2019.

Sky and Space Global was originally formed in the UK and had been trying to establish a telecommunications network in low Earth orbit using nanosatellites produced by Denmark-based GomSpace.

It had successfully launched three satellites—Red, Green and Blue Diamond—to prove the company’s technology could provide mobile communications. The “three diamonds” were launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in June 2017. The company then planned to follow up with the launch of around 200 similar satellites operating in equatorial orbit, eight of which were due to launch in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Sky and Space Global has struggled in recent months to find additional investment. Its coffers were bolstered by a £1.4 million ($1.72 million) research and development rebate from the UK in the fourth quarter of 2019.

In an investor presentation, the company claimed to have secured around AUS$47 million in equity and had a market capitalization of around AUS$70 million.

Tony Osborne

Based in London, Tony covers European defense programs. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2012, Tony was at Shephard Media Group where he was deputy editor for Rotorhub and Defence Helicopter magazines.