The Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York announced its approval of the joint British/Indian takeover bid of Chapter 11 company OneWeb on 2 October. This allows the sale of the company to take place and it is hoped this will be completed by the end of the year. Importantly, this step allows the company to resume launching its prospective LEO communications constellation – a launch is in the works for December.
The soon-to-be new owners, covered in more detail here, are the UK Government and Indian telecommunications giant Bharti Global. Both parties announced that they would invest US$500 million in the company. Of this, US$345 million has already been made available to it in the form of Debtor-in-Possession (DIP) payments. Additionally, in July, Hughes announced its decision to reinvest in the takeover, contributing US$50 million. This enables Hughes to join the UK Government and Bharti Global as leaders of the takeover bid.
Following events in the last two weeks of October, the sale of OneWeb received approval from the necessary US agencies. This means the deal could well be completed by early November. Updated information has also shown that rather than owning 45 per cent stakes in the company, the new British and Indian owners will in fact have 42.2 per cent each.
The rest of the equity has been divided up between the “secured creditors”, which were the previous leading investors. Principal of these is the Japanese SoftBank Group, which had invested over US$1 billion in the company. SoftBank will also be receiving 12.3 per cent of the voting rights in the new OneWeb.