Measat International (Measat), the Malaysian satellite operator, has closed a US$225mn project financing facility for the construction and launch of the MEASAT-3b (M3b) satellite.

Coface, for the first time, will provide export credit coverage for a satellite project. Natixis acts as mandated lead arranger, Coface agent and joint financial advisor on the deal, with SMBC also acting as joint financial advisor.

The structure of the facility includes US$150mn guaranteed by Coface, with reinsurance from UK Export Finance (UKEF) for the portion of satellite components manufactured in the UK. Alongside this there is US$60mn in uncovered facilities, as well as standby facilities. The financing will fund the construction and launch of the satellite.

Head of aircraft, export and infrastructure finance for Asia Pacific at Natixis, Daniel Klinger, tells GTR: “This is an excellent credential that demonstrates our expertise in the telecommunications sector generally but particularly in the area of satellites, and in ECA finance both as a lender and as a financial advisor.”

“This landmark financing demonstrates Natixis’ established track record working with Coface and UKEF,” adds a spokesperson for the bank.

M3b will launch on September 12 from Kourou, French Guinea. It will join two other satellites to more than double Measat’s capacity to support broadcasting and telecommunication satellite services across Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Australia.