from the buying-stuff-up-for-pennies-on-the-dollar-is-good-business dept
That caused Iridium to go bankrupt, and for a while the entire project was almost abandoned completely with plans in place to destroy the satellites. At the very last minute, though, a group of investors picked up the entire thing for $25 million (yes, the entire system, which had cost the original company $3.4 billion to build). Not only that, but part of the $25 million buyout was a $72 million contract with the US government. The new Iridium was a lot more focused. Rather than going after the entire mobile phone market, it really narrowly focused on occupations where such phones would be necessary. However, even then, we've still been skeptical that the economics could work out. After all, it's still costly to manage those satellites (which have a limited lifespan and need to be replaced) and reports indicated that the new Iridium really had very few customers.
However, the company now claims it's in pretty good shape, with good revenue and EBITDA, and is even talking about trying to go public once again. I'm sure the roadshow pitch will be quite different than the original Iridium. And, considering the name is still synonymous with one of the biggest failures in business, it will be interesting to see how investors react. Still, it's yet another example of companies buying up expensive assets for pennies on the dollar after an investment bubble, and turning those assets into something useful. Sometimes it's good to be a scavenger, apparently.