Eutelsat Raises Stake In Bharti-Backed OneWeb, Becomes Its Second Largest Shareholder

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Eutelsat’s 22.9 per cent holding will make it the second-largest shareholder behind Bharti with 30.0 per cent

French satellite operator Eutelsat has raised its stake in Bharti-backed OneWeb from 17.6 per cent to 22.9 per cent, OneWeb announced in a statement.

“Eutelsat Communications has exercised a call option on a portion of the latest OneWeb funding round subscribed by Bharti, for a consideration of $165 million, taking its shareholding from 17.6 per cent to 22.9 per cent,” the company said.

The transaction was undertaken on identical financial terms to Eutelsat’s initial investment of $550 million announced in April. The completion of this latest transaction is expected around year-end 2021 subject to regulatory authorisations, the company said.

Following the exercise of the call option and the completion of Hanwha’s investment, Eutelsat’s 22.9 per cent holding will make it the second-largest shareholder behind Bharti with 30.0 per cent, thereby strengthening its position as a key shareholder and partner of OneWeb.

OneWeb said that its capital structure has been further strengthened with an additional $500 million commitment by Bharti completing the funding of its first-generation constellation and a $300 million capital injection from South Korea’s Hanwha.

“We are hugely excited to grasp this opportunity to deepen our commitment to OneWeb. The significant progress it has made in the run-up to its now imminent entry into service, together with the vote of confidence demonstrated by the commitment of both its investors and future customers, makes us even more convinced of OneWeb’s right-to-win in the low earth orbit (LEO) constellation segment,” said Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat’s Chief Executive Officer.

OneWeb has partnerships with AT&T, Peraton, Northwestel, and BT. It has raised $2.7 billion since November 2020, with no debt issuance.

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