Satellite company Eutelsat reports that it has exercised a call option on a portion of the latest OneWeb funding round to increase its stake in the LEO network operator, taking its shareholding from 17.6% to 22.9% for a consideration of $165 million.
The transaction was undertaken on identical financial terms to Eutelsat’s initial investment of $550 million announced in April and completed in September. The completion of this latest transaction is expected around year-end 2021 subject to regulatory authorisations.
OneWeb’s capital structure has been strengthened in recent months by an additional $500 million commitment by Bharti, completing the funding of its first-generation constellation, and a $300 million capital injection from South Korea’s Hanwha.
Following the exercise of the call option and the completion of Hanwha’s investment, Eutelsat’s 22.9% holding will make it the second largest shareholder behind Bharti with 30%.
“We are hugely excited to grasp this opportunity to deepen our commitment to OneWeb,” said Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat’s Chief Executive Officer.
“The significant progress it has made in the run-up to its now imminent entry into service, together with the vote of confidence demonstrated by the commitment of both its investors and future customers, makes us even more convinced of OneWeb’s right-to-win in the low earth orbit (LEO) constellation segment.”