Eutelsat invested an additional $165 million in OneWeb during the latest funding round. The move boosts its share form 17.6% to 22.9%, making it the second largest shareholder, after Bharti.
We are hugely excited to grasp this opportunity to deepen our commitment to OneWeb. The significant progress it has made in the run-up to its now imminent entry into service, together with the vote of confidence demonstrated by the commitment of both its investors and future customers, makes us even more convinced of OneWeb’s right-to-win in the low earth orbit (LEO) constellation segment.– Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat’s Chief Executive Officer
The deals comes under the same terms as Eutelsat’s initial investment of $550 million, announced in April and closed last month. The additional investment is expected to close before year end.
The increased position comes as part of Bharti’s move to add $500 million to the company, a that was described at the time as leaving the company fully funded.
Eutelsat’s investment comes after it delivered a strong FY 2021 performance in terms of cash flow generation and leverage reduction, and is compliant with Eutelsat’s financial framework. At 30 June 2021, Eutelsat’s liquidity amounted to €1.9bn in cash and undrawn credit lines.
Separately, one of OneWeb’s antenna partners, SatixFy, is showing off some of its most recent technology developments.
The company has a new electronically steered antenna that is able to communicate simultaneously with multiple GEO satellites even while moving at 50 degrees per second. This technology is part of the “Diamond IoT” antenna that will be used for terrestrial applications.
It will also need to be tested against LEO satellites, but the dual connection option should support a true make-before-break functionality
Less clear is whether the specific technology will be incorporated into the Hanwha antenna systems that the company expects will help support the aviation market. But that level of make-before-break performance is implied in the SatixFy road map for aero antennae. And delivering it, or “instant switching” between satellites will be a key factor in the promised performance delivery.
More on OneWeb’s recent wins:
- OneWeb now fully funded with additional $500 million from Bharti
- OneWeb secures antenna, investment with Hanwha Systems
- De-risking IFC with OneWeb’s new JetTalk terminal
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