OneWeb, the Softbank-backed venture, which planned to use a network of satellites to deliver broadband connectivity around the world, has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
In a statement the company said it intended to use the proceedings to an initiate a sale of the business.
Its most valuable asset will be the 74 satellites launched to form its constellation along with the spectrum it acquired on which to operate the system. It has 44 ground stations that have either been completed or are in development.
Adrian Steckel, Chief Executive Officer of OneWeb, said the company’s predicament was as a result of the consequence of the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis. “Our hope is that this process will allow us to carve a path forward that leads to the completion of our mission, building on the years of effort and the billions of invested capital. It is with a very heavy heart that we have been forced to reduce our workforce and enter the Chapter 11 process while the Company’s remaining employees are focused on responsibly managing our nascent constellation and working with the Court and investors.”
Early investors included Airbus, Intelsat, Bharti Enterprises, Coca Cola, Group Salinas, Hughes Network Systems, Virgin Group and Intelsat.
If no buyer is found the satellites become the responsibility of the UK government.