OneWeb paid nearly $50 million in fees to investors for bankruptcy

OneWeb paid $49.3 million in fees to bankers, attorneys and other advisors acting for its original shareholders as part of a $1 billion settlement in which the government Britain and India’s Bharti Global rescued the satellite internet company from bankruptcy last year.

The disclosure comes from audited accounts published on Tuesday. The sale agreement “requires the Company to finance the selling expenses of former OneWeb Communications shareholders,” the accounts said.

Although the advisors were not named, Guggenheim Partners, the New York investment bank and the US law firm Milbank are among those who have advised investors on the transaction, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Figure.

Shareholders disclosed in the bankruptcy petition include Airbus, Hughes Network Systems, a subsidiary of EchoStar, Intelsat, Qualcomm, Virgin Group and SoftBank.

The annual report also revealed that OneWeb suffered an operating loss of $58.3 million in the 12 months to the end of March. No comparison is provided with the previous year.

A brighter note for investors bring OneWeb out of bankruptcy, the corporation recorded a gain of $430.4 million on the fair value of the assets relative to the bankruptcy price.

OneWeb, founded nearly a decade ago, was a pioneer in space-based internet services, but struggling after multiple delays has left its largest shareholder, SoftBank, withholding $2 billion new funding dollars to develop its satellite constellation. Group enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US in March last year.

However, since the $1 billion rescue by the UK and Bharti, the company has secured $2.7 billion in funding from investors including Eutelsat, European satellite operator, Hanwha, the Korean conglomerate, and even SoftBank. Recent funding rounds are estimated to have valued OneWeb at more than $3 billion.

The consortium has 358 satellites in orbit and plans to launch a limited commercial service this year. It expects global service to be operational by the end of 2022, when it will launch all 650 low-orbit satellites under its plan. OneWeb is targeting over $1 billion in annual revenue within 5 years of full rollout.

However, OneWeb is facing Fierce competition from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which this weekend launched 53 more satellites into the Starlink constellation, bringing its total in orbit to nearly 2,000.

Neil Masterson, chief executive officer of OneWeb, said the company’s approach to space-based internet services differs from SpaceX’s, pointing out that it provides additional capacity for existing service providers instead. for direct targeting of customers.

“The number of satellites does not equate to progress,” says Masterson. “Our approach is to work with the existing ecosystem. I feel confident in our ability to play. As long as we stay fully focused on meeting the needs of our customers, these will take care of themselves. ”

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