||LORAL COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF ORION NETWORK SYSTEMS
NEW YORK, March 20, 1998 -- Loral Space & Communications announced today
that it has completed the acquisition of Orion Network Systems, Inc.,
through an exchange of Loral common stock. In a transaction valued at
approximately $479 million, Orion shareholders received 0.71553 shares
of Loral common stock in exchange for each Orion share, or approximately
18.3 million newly issued shares of Loral in the aggregate.
"We are pleased to welcome Orion's employees and its customers to the
Loral Space & Communications family," stated Loral chairman and chief
executive officer, Bernard L. Schwartz. "The addition of Orion's assets
to Loral's portfolio furthers Loral's building block strategy, expands
its value-added satellite services offerings and extends its reach into
high-growth international markets."
Loral Orion, based in Rockville, Md., is an international satellite
communications company that provides high-speed Internet connections for
corporations and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and private,
multimedia network communications services directly to multinational
businesses via small receiving antennas. It also transmits video
communications for television and other program distribution services.
Loral Orion owns and operates the Orion 1 satellite, placed in service
in January 1995, covering the European, transatlantic and U.S. markets,
and has two additional satellites under construction, the cost of which
was substantially funded through the public issuance of debt in 1997.
Orion's transponder capacity will increase substantially with the
launching of Orion 3, scheduled for service in January 1999, covering
the Asia Pacific region, and Orion 2, which will serve the Americas and
Europe beginning in June 1999. The three-satellite constellation will
be capable of providing services to over 85% of the world's population
by 1999. In addition, Orion has authorization for valuable domestic and
international orbital slots, including certain slots for the provision
of Ka-band service.
Loral Orion serves a customer base of 300 multinational businesses and
Internet service providers in 50 countries via approximately 680
installed terminals (earth stations or very small aperture terminals
[VSATs]) that receive networked value-added services from Orion 1. The
company also operates a tracking, telemetry and control (TT&C) facility
in Mount Jackson, Virginia.
Loral Space & Communications Ltd. concentrates on satellite
manufacturing and satellite-based services. Space Systems/Loral is a
leading manufacturer of commercial communications and weather
satellites. Loral Skynet is a leading U.S. satellite communications
service provider that owns and operates the Telstar satellites. Loral,
along with a Mexican partner, owns a 75 percent equity interest in
Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V., the Mexican national satellite
system. In addition, Loral manages and holds a 39 percent equity
interest in Globalstar, the global, mobile satellite-based telephony
system scheduled for service initiation in 1999. Loral also is the
developer of CyberStar, a geostationary satellite-based, open protocol,
digital telecommunications system that will offer a variety of low-cost,
high-speed, data and telecommunications services worldwide, initially
from leased Ku-band transponders in 1998 and subsequently through a
dedicated constellation of geosynchronous Ka-band satellites.
Contact: Jeanette Clonan