OneWeb and Eutelsat almost agreed to merge into a pan-European satellite operator

OneWeb and Eutelsat almost agreed to merge into a pan-European satellite operator

The Financial Times reported on the talks last Sunday between the British satellite operator OneWeb and the French satellite operator Eutelsat Communications SA on the future merger of a European satellite operator capable of competing with world market leaders.

Many expected that the terms of the deal would be made public on Monday, but this did not happen. According to informed sources, the merger would benefit both companies. For Eutelsat, it would be a new growth point that would compensate for a shrinking satellite video business, and OneWeb would meet the investment requirement of $2 billion to $3 billion to complete the satellite network and upgrade technology.

The deal could also revitalize cooperation between Brussels and London on space projects after a deteriorating relationship over disputes over the terms of the EU-United Kingdom partnership agreement after the last withdrawal from the European Union.

According to sources, many issues were resolved by Sunday evening, but the final agreement between OneWeb and Eutelsat has not yet been reached, and it is expected that billionaire Sunil Bharty Mittal, the current Executive Director of Eutelsat, will remain in office.

The British and French governments are also expected to receive the same shares in the new company, about 10% each, and the share of France will belong to the Banque Publice d'Investisement, a French public investment bank, and the United Kingdom will also retain its "gold share" in OneWeb, ensuring that it has the right to veto the sale for reasons of national security, as well as the right to its headquarters and any transfer of technology. France will also receive guarantees for Eutelsat headquarters.

OneWeb and Eutelsat refused to comment on the Financial Times.