Technology

Eutelsat wants to merge with OneWeb

The satellite network market is not immune to consolidation: the French satellite operator issued a press release aimed at “confirming that it has entered into discussions with its OneWeb co-shareholders regarding the possible consolidation of all activities to create a world leader in connectivity.” with additional GEO/LEO activities. »

Rumors of a merger between the two companies have been circulating for several days now, but Eutelsat indicates in its press release that the deal under discussion is aimed at creating a new group whose stake will be divided between Eutelsat and current OneWeb shareholders. The goal is to create an operator with geostationary (GEO) or low earth orbit (LEO) satellite networks in hopes of establishing itself in a market that Eutelsat estimates at $16 billion by 2030.

OneWeb is a British company specializing in the deployment of satellite constellations. The latter made its first launches in February 2019 and hoped to put a little over 600 satellites into orbit by the end of 2022. insolvency proceedings in 2020. To save the company, a conglomerate of investors was created, which included Eutelsat, the British government and the Indian company Bharti Global. Thus, as part of this conglomerate, Eutelsat already owned a 23% stake in OneWeb. The operation allowed OneWeb to resume its satellite deployments, although the deployment schedule has been changed to target late 2023. In February 2022, the company announced that it had deployed 428 satellites into orbit.

The purpose of the merger operation is to allow the new company to compete with the US company Starlink, a subsidiary of SpaceX, which already has more than 2,000 satellites in low Earth orbit.

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