Canadian satellite broadband company Telesat debuts on the Nasdaq, adding another space pure play

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  • Canadian satellite communications company Telesat went public on Nasdaq on Friday, another space pure-play stock market.
  • The listing came after an exchange with Telesat’s shareholders, effectively replacing the formally public Lorel Space & Communications company.
  • Telesat’s main development project is a low Earth orbit broadband satellite network called Lightspeed.

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Canadian satellite communications company Telesat went public on Nasdaq on Friday, another space pure-play stock market.

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Telesat CEO Dan Goldberg told CNBC, “We are an established operator, with an established business, generating a significant amount of cash flow today with our existing customers, who were always thinking about whether this Where is the market going?

Shares of Telesat are priced at $41.52 and soared up to 16% in early trading, before leaving most gains to trade largely unchanged.

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The listing came after an exchange with Telesat shareholders, with the company effectively replacing the former public Loral Space & Communications. Prior to the transaction, Telesat’s shareholders were Loral and the Canadian Pension Fund PSP, which held 64% and 36% of Telesat stock, respectively.

“We didn’t issue any new equity at this time — it was really about rationalizing the ownership structure,” Goldberg said. “It’s cleaner.”

Telesat’s main development project is the low Earth orbit broadband satellite network being built, called Lightspeed. Unlike the consumer focus of SpaceX’s Starlink constellation, Telesat plans to use its 298 lightspeed satellites to provide high-speed fiber-like Internet to business-to-business, or enterprise, customers around the world.

Goldberg stressed that “Lightspeed is capital intensive,” which the company expects to cost the company $5 billion.

Telsat has so far funded more than $3 billion for Lightspeed, including a $1.1 billion investment from the Canadian government. The company will raise the remaining necessary funds from export credit agencies, Goldberg said, with Telesat “in the process of completing those discussions.”

The company launched an experimental low Earth orbit satellite in 2018, which Goldberg said was used for customer demonstration and technology validation.

Telesat contracted French-Italian space hardware manufacturer Thales Alenia Space to manufacture the satellites. The company does not yet have a specific target date for the first Lightspeed launch, with Goldberg noting that “Thales has had some supply chain issues” that led to the delay.

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