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Bharti Global to put $500 mn in OneWeb, become the largest shareholder

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Bharti Enterprises is investing an additional $500 million in OneWeb via its arm Bharti Global to become the largest shareholder in the satellite communications company.

The investment is the result of Bharti using its ‘call option’.

On completion of the transaction with Eutelsat’s $550 million investment, Bharti will hold 38.6%. The UK government, Eutelsat and SoftBank will each own 19.3% The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021.

The announcement comes as OneWeb comes off its eighth launch on 1 July, delivering much-anticipated and strategically valuable Arctic region coverage down to 50 degrees latitude.

OneWeb, the global Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, has secured further fundraising on the anniversary of the successful bid by the UK government and Bharti Global to purchase OneWeb from US Chapter 11 to bring its total funding to USD 2.4 billion USD.

The completion of the funding puts OneWeb in a powerful position. They have significantly lower entry costs for any LEO. They will also benefit from $3.4bn of pre-Chapter 11 investment by the original shareholders, making new OneWeb a three-times lower cost Constellation.

With this launch, they have completed 40% of their Network. They are intently focused on execution and just ten more launches will be enough to deliver global coverage. Investors have backed the efforts of the OneWeb team to deliver more of the global connectivity the World needs.

The statement said that the final shareholding structure could alter to the extent a member of the shareholders’ group chooses to exercise a part of the call option. On completion, OneWeb will have secured $2.4 billion of equity investment, with no issued debt.

OneWeb represents a unique opportunity for investors at a key moment in the commercialisation of Space. With its Global ITU LEO Spectrum priority, Telco partnerships, successful launch momentum and reliable satellites, OneWeb is ready to serve the vital needs of high-speed broadband connectivity for those who have been left behind. Nation-states can accelerate their universal service obligations, Telcos, their backhaul, and Enterprise and Governments can serve remote installations.

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