Eutelsat-OneWeb integrated group to offer GEO-LEO satellite communications service

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Chennai, Sep 28 (IANS) Eutelsat Communications SA, one of the world’s leading satellite operators, on Thursday announced the completion of its all-share combination with OneWeb, the global low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications network, following the approval at the Ordinary and Extraordinary General Meeting of Eutelsat shareholders.

This combination will now form the Eutelsat Group.

Eutelsat Communications will remain headquartered in Paris. OneWeb will be a subsidiary operating commercially as Eutelsat OneWeb with its centre of operations remaining in London.

Eutelsat Communications remains listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange and has applied for standard listing on the London Stock Exchange.

India’s Bharti Group’s Sunil Bharti Mittal will be the Vice-President (Co-Chair) and Shravin Bharti Mittal, who spearheaded the OneWeb investment, taking it out of Chapter 11, will be the Indian group’s lead as a Director on the Board of Eutelsat, Bharti Enterprises said.

Akhil Gupta will continue to serve as a Director on the Board of OneWeb, now a 100 per cent subsidiary of Eutelsat.

The newly formed Eutelsat Group is strategically positioned to be a global leader in space communications.

Eutelsat’s powerful GEO (Geostationary satellite) fleet will combine network density and high throughput with the low latency and ubiquity of OneWeb’s LEO (Low Earth Orbit satellite) constellation to offer customers global, fully integrated connectivity services.

This combination confirms Eutelsat as a pioneer in the space industry and a leader in space technology innovation, showcasing its continuous commitment to pushing the boundaries of the satellite landscape.

With OneWeb’s network already active and set to be globally operational by end of 2023, the combined GEO-LEO service will open up new markets and applications for customers, including Fixed Connectivity (Backhaul, Corporate networks), Government Services and Mobile Connectivity (Maritime and Inflight).

Broadcast and video services will remain integral to Eutelsat Group’s business and continue to deliver unparalleled and innovative services for customers, including new IP native video services, at the convergence of broadband and broadcast.

The combined entity is expected to grow at a double-digit revenue CAGR over the medium to long-term, reaching about 2 billion euros in 2027, the company said.

Dominique D’Hinnin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Eutelsat, said: “This is an historic moment for the satellite industry. We are bringing together two businesses that are at the forefront of delivering integrated, seamless and reliable connectivity to customers worldwide.

“We will be moving fast to accelerate the growth of the combined business. With the support of strategic shareholders of both entities, we are confident of maximising financial performance and operational excellence, while capitalising on the high-return investment of next generation satellites.”

Sunil Bharti Mittal commented: “This exciting combination will be transformative for communities and businesses worldwide, utilising the unique blend of GEO and LEO technologies. This is a major milestone for us, our partners, and the customers we serve. The business combines compelling strategy, technology, and talent to deliver across several markets and verticals and together we are well-positioned to deliver value for all our shareholders.”

Last year, Eutelsat and OneWeb announced the purchase of the latter by the former. The transaction valued OneWeb at $3.4 billion implying a value of 12 euros per Eutelsat share.

India’s Bharti Global Ltd is one of the major shareholders in OneWeb, the companies said last year.

The transaction would be structured as an exchange of OneWeb shares by its shareholders (other than Eutelsat) with new shares issued by Eutelsat, such that, at closing, Eutelsat would own 100 per cent of OneWeb (excluding the ‘Special Share’ of the UK government), the two companies had said.

OneWeb, a low earth orbit (LEO) broadband satellite communications company, is a consortium between the UK government and Indian telecom group Bharti Global Ltd. In November 2020, OneWeb announced that it had emerged from a US Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition.

A consortium of the UK Government and Bharti Global,it has invested $1bn of new equity to offer broadband connectivity services, via a constellation of 650 LEO satellites.



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