Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
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OneWeb merger with Eutelsat

Government statement on the planned merger of OneWeb and Eutelsat.

OneWeb, a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation of which the UK Government is a minority shareholder, has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Eutelsat Communications to merge the two companies, with the objective of creating a single, powerful global player in connectivity.

Eutelsat will add its 36-strong fleet of Geostationary Orbit (GEO) satellites to OneWeb’s LEO constellation, with 428 satellites already in orbit, to generate combined revenues of €1.2bn and address an even wider range of customer requirements.

The merger is positive news for UK taxpayers: having made a $500m investment in OneWeb 2 years ago, the UK Government will now have a significant stake in what will become a single, powerful, global space company, working on the sound financial footing needed to make the most of the technological advantages it has to compete in the highly-competitive global satellite industry, against companies around the world.

The UK Government will retain the special share and its exclusive rights over OneWeb – securing the company’s future at the centre of the combined group’s global LEO business, national security controls over the network, and first-preference rights over domestic industrial opportunities.

They include:

  • A range of national security rights, including over security standards of the OneWeb network and use of the OneWeb network for national security purposes;
  • The UK remaining the preferred location for future OneWeb launches; and
  • OneWeb preferring businesses in the UK for future procurement for manufacturing on a commercial basis

Trading under its existing name, OneWeb will continue to operate the LEO business of the combined group and OneWeb’s headquarters will remain in the UK.

Eutelsat will continue to be listed on Euronext Paris and will apply for admission to listing on the London Stock Exchange.

The deal will be subject to UK and international regulatory approvals – including through the National Security and Investments Act - and the approval of Eutelsat’s shareholders. The merger is expected to complete in the first half of 2023.

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