Several months after OneWeb filed for bankruptcy, the UK government has now announced that it has acquired the firm by means of a government-led consortium. It has provided $500 million while Bharti Global has stumped up a further $500 million. According to the announcement, the acquisition puts the UK “at the cutting-edge of the latest advances in space technology.”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma confirmed that the $500 million investment leaves the government with a significant equity share in OneWeb. Bharti Global will provide the company with commercial and operational leadership and aim to get the company set up with a steady revenue base that will “contribute towards its future success.”
With the new money, the company will be able to complete the construction of its global satellite constellation which will bring broadband and other services to countries around the world. The UK says this acquisition opens up strategic opportunities across a wide range of other applications too.
Commenting on the move, Sharma said:
“Our access to a global fleet of satellites has the potential to connect millions of people worldwide to broadband, many for the first time, and the deal presents the opportunity to further develop our strong advanced manufacturing base right here in the UK.”
Since 2010, the government says that the sector has been a success story growing over 60%. It said that the sector already supports £300 billion of UK economic activity through the use of satellite services and this is only expected to grow further. Under the agreement, the government will have the final say over any future sale of the company and it’ll be able to control which countries around the world can gain access based on national security grounds.