OneWeb, the popular Low Earth Orbit or LEO satellite communications company, on Tuesday, announced that it had secured further fund-raising, on the anniversary of the successful bid by the UK Government and Bharti Global in order to buy OneWeb from US Chapter 11 to bring its total funding to a whopping $2.4 billion.
OneWeb has finally completed its transformation with the exercise of a Call Option by Bharti to invest an additional $500m into the company.
Today’s announcement comes just as OneWeb is prepping for its eighth launch on the 1st of July. The Call Option is also rumoured to be completed in the second half of 2021. On completion of the Call Option and with the prior $550m investment by Eutelsat, Bharti will hold 38.6% shares with the UK Government Softbank and Eutelsat each owning about 19.3%.
The final shareholding structure might differ to the extent that a member of the shareholders’ group chooses to exercise. On completion of the same, OneWeb will have secured $2.4bn of equity investment, complete with no issued debt.
What Does the Company Have to Say?
OneWeb's Executive Chairman, Mr Sunil Bharti Mittal said that OneWeb represented a unique opportunity for investors at a key moment in the commercialisation of Space.
With its Global ITU LEO Spectrum priority, Telco partnerships and successful launch momentum, complete with reliable satellites, OneWeb are more than ready to serve the vital needs of high-speed broadband connectivity for those who have been left behind.
Shravin Mittal, the MD of Bharti Global added that Bharti was delighted to show its confidence in OneWeb’s rapid progress by exercising the Call Option with the support of fellow shareholders. In just a year and during a global pandemic, together the companies have transformed OneWeb, bringing the operation back to full-scale. With this round of financing, Bharti completes the funding requirements.
The company will continue to work alongside its partner shareholders, UK Government, Softbank as well Eutelsat, to realise this unique opportunity.
To add to all of this, the CEO of OneWeb, Neil Masterson mentioned that the completion of its funding puts OneWeb in a powerful position. The company has a significantly lower entry cost of any LEO. It also benefits 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, the company will have completed 40% of its Network. It is intently focused on execution and just ten more launches will enable it to deliver global coverage.