Creditors press in on Satmex

Company holds $713 mil in debt

MEXICO CITY — Satmex, Mexico’s troubled communications satellite company, is under fire from creditors who want it to file for bankruptcy.

Company, which operates two satellites providing TV, telephone and Internet service to much of North and South America, has debts of $713 million.

Satmex has been in serious financial straits since the failure of one of its satellites in 2003. It can’t afford the $55 million to put its new satellite into orbit. Satellite has been waiting to launch for two years.

Now creditors representing two-thirds of the company’s debt have filed a Chapter 11 petition in New York District Court. If honored, that request would force Satmex into bankruptcy and debt restructuring.

The Mexico City-based company, 49% owned by Loral Space & Communications, said in a release that it had anticipated its creditors’ move.

“The company is evaluating its options and will respond appropriately in the near term,” the release said. Satmex has several weeks to respond to the petition.

In 2003, Satmex entered the U.S. feevee market with Satmex Maximo, a mix of free and pay channels from throughout Latin America.

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