SMBC Europe (SMBCE) and Mizuho are joint lenders and mandated lead arrangers on a 10.5-year €132mn loan for Azerbaijani state-owned satellite company Azercosmos.

The facility is backed by Coface and guaranteed by the government of Azerbaijan. SMBCE also acted as co-ordinating arranger and agent on the facility.

It will finance Azerbaijan’s first earth-observation satellite, called Azersky. Azercosmos bought the satellite from Airbus Defence and Space, its manufacturer, last year after it had completed an in-orbit check-out.

This is the second satellite owned and operated by Azercosmos, following the launch of Azerspace-1, a communication satellite, which was financed by a US$98mn Coface-supported facility signed in 2011.