Eutelsat has officially confirmed that it is in talks on an all-share merger with the UK’s OneWeb. This follows reports over the weekend, quoting unnamed sources, that it is engaged in discussions with OneWeb about a possible deal.
In a statement, Eutelsat said: “the combined entity would be the first multi-orbit satellite operator offering integrated GEO and LEO solutions and would be uniquely positioned to address a booming ~ $16 billion (2030) satellite connectivity market. OneWeb is one of the two only global LEO networks and has experienced strong momentum over recent months, with service expected to be fully deployed in 2023.
“The transaction would represent a logical next step in the successful partnership between Eutelsat and OneWeb, started with Eutelsat’s equity investment in OneWeb in April 2021 and deepened with the global distribution agreement announced in March 2022. Eutelsat currently holds 23% of OneWeb’s share capital, alongside a consortium of high-profile public and private investors.
“Under the terms of the transaction being discussed, Eutelsat and OneWeb shareholders would each hold 50% of the combined group’s shares.
“The transaction would be structured as a contribution by OneWeb’s shareholders of their stake in OneWeb to Eutelsat in exchange for newly issued Eutelsat shares. Any combination would be subject to, among other conditions, approval by the requisite majority of Eutelsat shareholders and receipt of all relevant antitrust and regulatory (including foreign investment) approvals”.
Eutelsat concluded the statement by saying that “there can be no assurance that these discussions will result in any agreement” and that it will inform the market as soon as soon as there are any new developments.
Broadband TV News notes that aside from Eutelsat, OneWeb’s other investors include the UK government and telco Bharti.