Bharti injects additional $500m in space start-up OneWeb

India's Bharti Global injects additional $500m in space start-up OneWeb

Bharti Global, the overseas arm of Bharti Enterprises, will invest an additional INR 3,714 crore($500 million) in OneWeb, a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company.

 OneWeb was rescued from bankruptcy last year by Bharti and the UK government. 

The investment is a result of the exercise of a 'call option' by Bharti. On completion of the transaction and with Eutelsat's $550 million investment, Bharti will hold 38.6%. The UK government, Eutelsat and SoftBank will each own 19.3%, OneWeb said in a statement.

On completion, OneWeb can have secured $2.four billion of fairness funding, with no issued debt.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory nod.

The announcement comes as OneWeb gears up for 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 (Bharti) to purchase OneWeb from US Chapter 11 to bring its total funding to USD 2.4 billion," OneWeb informed.

“OneWeb represents a unique opportunity for investors at a key moment in the commercialization of space,” commented Sunil Bharti Mittal, OneWeb executive chairman. “With its Global ITU [International Telecommunication Union] 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.”

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