French Eutelsat Close to Merge with UK’s OneWeb


United Kingdom and French satellite operators OneWeb and Eutelsat announced plans to merge and creating a global champion in broadband internet, with rival US giants like Starlink of Elon Musk.

OneWeb and Eutelsat said in a statement that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to join forces to become a leading player in connectivity across the globe in an all-share transaction. Each company will hold a 50 percent stake in the combined entity.

Eutelsat will combine its 36-string fleet of geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) with the constellation of 648 low Earth orbit satellites (LEO) of OneWeb, of which 428 satellites are currently in orbit.

Eva Berneke, chief executive of Eutelsat, said this combination will now create a powerful global player with the technical expertise and financial strength to accelerate both the commercial deployment of OneWeb, and Eutelsat’s pivot to connectivity.

Both OneWeb and Eutelsat said the combined entity will be agreed towards profitable growth, with a potential for double-digit increase in both profit and sales over the long and medium term.

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Neil Masterson, chief executive officer of OneWeb, said this combination mainly accelerates their mission to deliver connectivity that will now change lives at scale, while also creating a fast-growing, well-funded company that will continue to create significant value for shareholders.

Satellite broadband helps to bring coverage to the most remote areas of the planet by doing away with the need for antennas and other infrastructure. Eutelsat said it will be positioned uniquely to exploit a market that company expected to be worth 16 billion dollars by 2030.