Telesat Debuts On Nasdaq As The Latest TSAT Promotion For Space

Telesat CEO Dan Goldberg poses for a photograph at the office of Telesat, a Canadian satellite communications company, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 24, 2021.

Blair Gable | Reuters

Canadian satellite communications company Telesat opened the Nasdaq on Friday, bringing another purely space-based share to the market.

“We are an established operator with established businesses, generating significant cash flow today with our existing customers who have always thought very far-sighted about where this market will go,” Telesat CEO Dan Goldberg told CNBC.

Telesat shares were worth $ 41.52 and rose 16% in early trading, after which they have given up most of their profits and are trading virtually unchanged.

The listing was carried out after an exchange with Telesat shareholders, with the company actually taking the place of the previously public Loral Space & Communications. Prior to the deal, Telesat’s shareholders were Loral and the Canadian pension fund PSP, which owned 64% and 36% of Telesat, respectively.

“At this stage, we did not issue any new shares – in fact, it was only about rationalizing the ownership structure,” Goldberg said. “It’s cleaner.”

Visualization of a constellation of broadband channels in low Earth orbit Telesat


Telesat’s main development project is a low-Earth orbit broadband satellite network called Lightspeed. Unlike SpaceX’s consumer-centric Starlink constellation, Telesat plans to use its 298 Lightspeed satellites to provide high-speed fiber-optic internet to corporate or business customers around the world.

Goldberg stressed that “Lightspeed is a big investment,” and the company expects it to be worth $ 5 billion.

To date, Telesat has committed more than $ 3 billion in funding for Lightspeed, including a $ 1.1 billion investment from the Canadian government. According to Goldberg, the company will raise the remaining necessary financing from export credit agencies with Telesat “in the process of completing these negotiations.”

In 2018, the company launched an experimental low-Earth orbit satellite that Goldberg said was used to demonstrate to customers and validate the technology.

Telesat has signed a contract with the French-Italian manufacturer of space equipment Thales Alenia Space to create satellites. The company does not yet have a specific target date for the first Lightspeed launches, and Goldberg noted that “Thales had several supply chain issues” that caused delays.

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