UPDATE: UK Government Leads Successful USD1.0 Billion OneWeb Bid

(Alliance News) - The UK government said Friday it has led a successful bid for collapsed ...

Alliance News 3 July, 2020 | 1:34PM
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(Alliance News) - The UK government said Friday it has led a successful bid for collapsed satellite firm OneWeb, providing USD500 million alongside the USD500 million from OneWeb shareholder Bharti Enterprises.

UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma confirmed that the government will invest USD500 million and take an undisclosed "significant equity share" in the satellite company, which filed for bankruptcy in March in the US. OneWeb has 74 satellites and is headquartered in London.

The government will invest alongside Bharti, which will provide the other USD500 million as well as commercial and operational leadership to OneWeb and bring it "a revenue base to contribute towards its future success."

Bharti, through Bharti Airtel, is the third largest mobile operator worldwide. Bharti Airtel has is own mobile broadband networks that will be used as a "testing ground" for all of OneWeb's application, services, and products.

The government said the deal gives the UK "strategic opportunities across a wide range of other applications" working with its "international allies".

US court approval and regulatory clearances are required, with the deal expected to complete before the end of 2020.

Sky News reported Thursday that SoftBank Group Corp and an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund were in talks to back the UK government-led bid for OneWeb.

Sky News said Japanese tech investor SoftBank and Mubadala, an investment arm of the Gulf state, had been holding talks with government officials about contributing hundreds of millions of pounds to a newly comprised shareholders group.

The UK-led bidding team consists currently only of the government and existing OneWeb shareholder Bharti Enterprises, Sky News said, according to a person "close to the situation". Rival bidders for OneWeb were thought to include Telesat, a Canadian company.

By Lucy Heming; lucyheming@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
SoftBank Group Corp 6,521.00 JPY -0.41

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