Bharti injects additional $500m into OneWeb

Bharti Global has invested a further $500m into OneWeb, bringing its total funding to $2.4 billion.

The latest investment will help OneWeb launch more satellites, with its eighth launch scheduled for July 1. This latest launch will deliver Arctic region coverage down to 50 degrees latitude.

OneWeb has secured the funding on the anniversary of the successful bid by UK Government and Bharti Global to purchase OneWeb from US Chapter 11. The transformation has been completed with the exercise of a Call Option by Bharti to invest an additional $500m into the company.

The Call Option is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals. On completion of the Call Option and with Eutelsat’s $550m investment, Bharti will hold 38.6 per cent. The UK Government, Eutelsat and Softbank will each own 19.3 per cent.

The final shareholding structure may alter to the extent a member of the shareholders’ group chooses to exercise a part of this call option.

On completion, OneWeb will have secured $2.4bn of equity investment, with no issued debt.

Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb said: “The completion of our funding puts OneWeb in a powerful position. We have significantly lower entry cost of any LEO. We benefit from $3.4bn of pre-Chapter 11 investment by the original shareholders, making new OneWeb a three-times lower cost Constellation.  With the forthcoming launch we will have completed 40 per cent of our Network. We are intently focused on execution and just ten more launches will enable us to deliver global coverage. Investors have backed the extraordinary efforts of the OneWeb team to deliver more of the global connectivity the World needs.”

Shravin Mittal, managing director of Bharti Global stated: “Bharti is delighted to show our confidence in OneWeb’s rapid progress by exercising our Call Option with the support of fellow shareholders. In just a year and during a global pandemic, together we have transformed OneWeb, bringing the operation back to full-scale. With this round of financing, we complete the funding requirements. We will continue to work alongside our partner shareholders, UK Government, Softbank and Eutelsat, to realise this unique opportunity.”

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