Loral Skynet, Inc. (aka Telesat)
Loral Skynet (aka Telesat) was a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications Inc. which was a satellite communications company headed by Michael B. Targoff and incorporated in Delaware USA. The company was formed in 1996 from the remnants of Loral Corporation when Loral divested its defense electronics and system integration businesses to Lockheed Martin for $9.1 billion. In 2006, Bernard L. Schwartz retired after leading the company for many years. When Loral Space & Communications filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2003, its Loral Skynet merged with Telesat in Canada and all the assets were transferred.
Loral presently operates satellite-manufacturing company Space Systems/Loral (acquired in 1990 as the Space Systems Division of Ford Aerospace), and has an investment in Telesat Canada in partnership with the Public Pension Investment Board of Canada. The company also participates in a number of international and domestic joint ventures, including a 56% stake in XTAR, a satellite operator that provides X-band satellite capacity to governments and defense organizations.
In the early years Loral Space & Communications Inc. was the leader in satellite communications. Through the acquisition in 1996 of Skynet Satellite Services from AT&T Corporation, Loral established the new business unit, Loral Skynet. It was planned to manage and operate the firm’s satellite business, i.e. video and data transmission services. Loral Skynet operated four satellites, Telstar-11N, -12, -14R (Estrela do Sul-2) and Telstar-18.
The ground facilities were located around the world, providing both control services to its satellite fleet, as well as to the satellites of other satellite operators. Loral Skynet owned two primary control centers located in Hawley and Mt. Jackson and leased a teleport in Kapolei, Hawaii and three other technical facilities to support customers with teleport and hub services.
On March 20th, 1998, Loral completed the acquisition of Orion Network Systems, Inc., through the exchange of common stock. The transaction involved approximately $479 million. Orion Network Systems, Inc. changed its name to Loral Orion Network Systems, Inc. Rockville, USA and later in Loral Cyberstar Inc.
Orion owned and operated the Orion-1 satellite, placed in service, in January 1995, and covered European, trans-Atlantic and U.S. markets. Orion had two more satellites under construction that time. The Orion-2 satellite was renamed in Telstar-12 shortly after being launched into orbit in October 1999. The Orion-3 satellite was launched on May 4th 1999 but due to a launch failure it was placed in a lower orbit then expected. Orion-3 was declared useless and the satellite and launch were fully insured.
In January 2002, Loral reached a settlement with the U.S. Government in a case relating to the company’s involvement in the disclosure of information during a review of a Chinese rocket launch failure in 1996. Loral agreed to pay a civil fine of $14 million to the State Department without admitting or denying the government’s charges. According to a House Select Committee, Loral under CEO Schwartz provided the Chinese government with advice regarding a guidance system for future PRC road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Defense Technology Security Administration concluded Loral "committed a serious export control violation" and that the "significant benefits derived by China from these activities are likely to lead to improvements in the overall reliability of their launch vehicles (rockets) and ballistic missiles and in particular their guidance systems." Loral paid a total fine of $20 million, the largest that a company has ever paid under the Arms Export Control Act.
In January 2002 Loral Space & Communications merged its two subsidiaries, Loral Cyberstar and Loral Skynet and reported to Loral Skynet.
On July 15, 2003, Loral and its satellite operator Loral Skynet, filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. In conjunction with the filing, Loral announced the sale of its North American satellite fleet (Telstar-5 through -8 and -13) to Intelsat to help reduce its debt. Loral was successfully emerged from Chapter 11 on November 21, 2005. As part of the agreement, Loral Skynet was precluded from competing in the North American market until March 18, 2006. In June 2007, Loral Space & Communications made an unsuccessful bid to acquire Intelsat.
On Feb 1st, 2006, Space System/Loral (SS/L), a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications started the construction of Telstar-11N, a powerful new Ku-band communications satellite.
On October 5th, 2007 Loral Space & Communications Inc. and the Public Pension Investment Board of Canada received the final regulatory approval necessary to complete the acquisition of Telesat from Canadian Phone giant Bell Canada Enterprises, Inc. (BCE Inc.) for CAD $3.25 billion. The acquisition closed on October 31, 2007, with Loral owning 64% of Telesat Canada. At the same time, Telesat merged with Loral Skynet. This resulted in the transfer of all of the assets, i.e. its infrastructure and satellites: Telstar-10 (APSTAR IIR) at 77° E, Telstar-12; 13° W, Telstar-14 (Estrela do Sul-1) at 63° W, Telstar-18 at 138° E and Telstar-11N that was under construction and was planned to be located at 37° W.
On November 2, 2012, Loral Space & Communications Inc. announced the sale of subsidiary Space System/Loral (SS/L), to MacDonald Dettwiler (MDA), a USA headquartered Global Communications and Information company.