News

Australian satellite company SAS in administration after funding failure

SAS Meir Moalem.jpg

An Israeli-staffed UK-registered nano-satellite telecoms company that was listed in Australia has gone into administration.

Three Melbourne-based accountants from Australian accountancy firm Hall Chadwick were appointed administrators of Sky and Space Global (SAS) yesterday, they said in a statement.

They said their appointment, under Australia’s Corporations Act 2001, “is intended to maximise the chances of a company or as much as possible of its business continuing in existence”.

The ruling was made yesterday and published today (PDF here). 

SAS was set up four years ago when Meir Moalem (pictured), formerly a senior member of Israel’s space programme, reversed into an existing Australian listed company, Burleson Energy, and changed its name and purpose.

The company is still listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), but has its main activities in the UK and Poland as well as Israel. Its plans were to build a network for the internet of things (IoT).

It managed to launch three test satellites, called the three Pearls, via an Indian scientific rocket programme in 2017, but stumbled over a contract with Swedish company GomSpace to make the 200 production versions in its factory in northern Denmark.

SAS and GomSpace came to a resolution on payments in January 2020, though details have not been published.

But SAS had already cut its plan from 200 to just eight production satellites, according to reports in December 2019, and it was clear the company was facing challenges in finding funding for commercial operation.

Yesterday the administrators, Richard Albarran, Cameron Shaw and Richard Lawrence, said they were “undertaking a preliminary review and assessment of the company’s operations with a view to determining the extent to which the company can be recapitalised”.

They plan to hold an initial meeting of creditors by next Tuesday – something that will be challenging, given this weekend sees Easter and Passover as well as the continuing Covid crisis.