Eutelsat confirms potential merger talks with OneWeb

The talks were based around a transaction that will result in Eutelsat and OneWeb shareholders each holding 50% of the new, combined entity.

French satellite company Eutelsat has officially confirmed that it has engaged in discussions with its co-shareholders in OneWeb regarding a potential all-share combination to create a global leader in connectivity with complementary GEO/LEO activities.

In a statement, Eutelsat said: “The combined entity would be the first multi-orbit satellite operator offering integrated GEO and LEO solutions and would be uniquely positioned to address a booming ~ $16bn(2030) satellite connectivity market. OneWeb is one of the two only global LEO networks and has experienced strong momentum over recent months, with the service expected to be fully deployed in 2023.

“The transaction would represent a logical next step in the successful partnership between Eutelsat and OneWeb, started with Eutelsat’s equity investment in OneWeb in April 2021 and deepened with the Global Distribution Agreement announced in March 2022. Eutelsat currently holds 23% of OneWeb’s share capital, alongside a consortium of high-profile public and private investors.”

In the proposed transaction, Eutelsat and OneWeb shareholders will each own 50% of the combined group.

The transaction will be structured as a contribution by OneWeb’s shareholders of their stake in OneWeb to Eutelsat in exchange for newly issued Eutelsat shares. Any combination will be subject to, among other conditions, approval by the requisite majority of Eutelsat shareholders and receipt of all relevant antitrust and regulatory (including foreign investment) approvals.

Eutelsat concluded the statement by saying that “there can be no assurance that these discussions will result in any agreement” and that it will inform the market as soon as there are any new developments.