Edinburgh / Paris / London, 26 July 2022. – Satellite operators Eutelsat Communications and OneWeb have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a leading global connectivity company through a merger between them in an all-share transaction, Eutelsat said. Eutelsat will combine its 36-satellite geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) fleet with OneWeb’s constellation of 648 low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites.
The transaction will be an exchange of OneWeb shares with new shares issued by Eutelsat. According to this, Eutelsat will own 100% of OneWeb at closing, excluding the UK Government’s shares. In the process, OneWeb shareholders will receive 230 million Eutelsat shares, which is 50% of the enlarged share capital.
Last year, Eutelsat acquired equity stake in OneWeb and the two companies also announced a global distribution agreement in March. The duo signed a new exclusive commercial partnership as well.
France based Eutelsat’s and UK-based OneWeb’s services are highly complementary, Eutelsat said. The plan is to develop a complementary GEO/LEO service. This entails a common platform, hybrid terminals and a mutualized network. OneWeb will continue trading under its name, operating the LEO business.
The MoU has been approved unanimously by both company’s board of directors and supported by their long-term investors. The transaction is expected to close by the end of Q2 2023.