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Narrowband nano-satellite maker Sky and Space enters administration

Narrowband nano-satellite maker Sky and Space enters administration

Company was previously chaired by iiNet founder Michael Malone

Credit: Dreamstime

Narrowband nano-satellite company Sky and Space Global (SAS) has called in the administrators after posting a $30.3 million loss at the end of last year.

SAS, which was for a short time chaired by iiNet founder Michael Malone, appointed administrators Hall Chadwick on 6 April, almost four years after first listing in the Australian Securities Exchange.

The administrators are currently carrying out a review into the Perth-headquartered company, and a meeting of the creditors is to be held by next week.

Founded in the United Kingdom, SAS made its foray into the Australian market via the acquisition of Burleson Energy in December 2015.  

The company's stated aim is to develop a commercial telecom network utilising its own narrowband nano-satellites.

As of the end of the 2019 financial year, the company had 50 staff in Australia, and multiple reseller agreements.

Malone first took over as chairman in November 2018, 25 years after first founding the now TPG-owned telco iiNet.

His appointment was described at the time as a “ big plus for Australian investors” that would put SAS “on the international map”.

At the time, it had plans to launch a constellation of 20 satellites following the successful launch of its first three nano-satellites, the 3 Diamonds, and expected to have 200 nano-satellites by this year.

Last February, SAS said it expected to raise about $15 million with the help of stockbroker Taylor Collison.

However, the company subsequently suspended trading on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on 3 April, and as of the end of the last financial year, this funding was still yet to come through. Around the same time, Malone stepped down as chairman after just six months. 

By 30 June 2019, SAS had a net loss after tax (NPAT) of $30.39 million, and, according to its annual report, had made no revenue and only $20,411 in “other income”.

In a quarterly update announced in December, SAS had a cash balance of $1.79 million, although the company did report a research and development rebate from the United Kingdom worth $2.6 million.

By then, it had already halved its staffing costs from $1.4 million to $769,000, as well as its manufacturing and operating costs from $1.2 million to $646,000. 


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