Bharti-backed OneWeb announces significant new equity partner

OneWeb

Hanwha, the South Korean Fortune 500, global technology and manufacturing company has announced a USD $300m equity investment by Hanwha Systems in OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company backed by Bharti group.

Hanwha brings further defence capabilities and the latest antenna technologies to OneWeb, alongside relationships to new government customers and expanded geographical reach.

This investment brings OneWeb’s total equity investment since November 2020 to USD $2.7bn with no debt issuance. The investment is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals.

OneWeb’s first-generation fleet of 648 satellites that will deliver global coverage in 2022 is fully funded. To date, the company has launched 254 satellites into orbit, with another launch planned this August from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Thanks to the success of recent launches, OneWeb’s network will be ready to offer connectivity services from 50th parallel and above by the end of 2021.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, said, “We welcome Hanwha to OneWeb. These are exciting and fast paced times in the space sector. With Hanwha alongside, we will be able to access the highest quality of technological thinking and development. They are a powerful partner in our global mission to connect the world.”

Youn Chul KIM, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director at Hanwha Systems, said, “We are pleased to join hands with OneWeb, which has strength in the LEO communication area, the core of space business. To OneWeb’s vision of connecting all the people across the globe, Hanwha System’s satellite and antenna technology will bring more advantages.”

UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said, “Today’s $300m investment in OneWeb by Hanwha is the latest in a series of votes of confidence in the company from the market. It’s clear that leading global investors see a promising future for this ground-breaking company and a robust commercial case for investment.”

“The Government’s equity stake in OneWeb not only allows the UK to capitalise on our first-mover advantage to deploy low earth orbit technology but will put our country at the forefront of the small satellite market, which is set to rapidly expand over the years ahead,” adds Kwarteng.

Neil Masterson, Chief Executive at OneWeb, said, “Hanwha brings advanced defence and antenna technology development to the OneWeb line-up. We are all delighted that they have chosen to join us on this journey of innovation, shaping a global service to connect the most remote locations and to provide a critical digital pathway from space to our interconnected world.”

On completion, OneWeb will appoint a board director to represent Hanwha’s share in the company.

Ramesh has over 12 years of experience in different departments of journalism. Having a strong nose for news, he has worked with The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Delhi Press, News Wire Service and Governance Today in different capacities. He is a Delhi University graduate and an alumnus of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Delhi, and St. Xavier's School, Muzaffarpur. He loves writing over issues of social relevance. His craving for smart technology brought him to My Mobile where he has grown up to be a tech journo.

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