France buys stake in OneWeb

France buys stake in OneWeb

Last July the UK government and Bharti bought the bankrupt OneWeb for $1 billion with Bharti and the UK each putting up $500 million and each taking a 42% stake. 12% was retained by Softbank which had invested $1 billion in OneWeb before its bankruptcy. These holdings are now diluted after the Eutelsat buy-in. The UK government has a golden share giving it the right to veto decisions.

OneWeb has now raised $1.9 billion of new funding which is 80% of the amount it needs to complete its launch plans which are for 648 satellites. It has 182 already in orbit.

Three years after the constellation becomes operational,  OneWeb expects annual revenues of about $1 billion.

“We are delighted to welcome Eutelsat into the OneWeb family,” says Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, “as an open multi-national business, we are committed to serving the global needs of governments, businesses and communities across the world. Together we are stronger, benefitting from the entrepreneurial energy of Bharti, the extensive global outreach of the UK Government, and the expertise in the satellite industry at Eutelsat. OneWeb, with its innovative and disruptive approach, is poised to take a leading position in LEO broadband connectivity.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Today’s investment is another giant leap forward for OneWeb in realising their ambition to provide global broadband connectivity around the globe.