Bharti Global has infused an additional $500 million (Rs 3,723 crore) in OneWeb, the global low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, as the Sunil Mittal-led company has exercised a call option under existing shareholders’ agreement, the company said in a statement.
The infusion of capital has taken OneWeb’s total funding to $2.4 billion.
The development comes after the company raised $550 million in funding from Eutelsat Communications, one of the world’s largest global operators, in April this year.
Once the capital infusion is completed in the second half of 2021, Bharti Global will hold 38.6% in the company while the UK Government, Eutelsat, and SoftBank will own 19.3% each.
The company statement said that the final shareholding structure may alter to the extent a member of the shareholders’ group chooses to exercise a part of the call option.
The funding comes as OneWeb prepares for its eighth launch on 1st July.
“OneWeb represents a unique opportunity for investors at a key moment in the commercialisation of space,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, executive chairman, OneWeb.
“The completion of our funding puts OneWeb in a powerful position,” said Neil Masterson, chief executive officer, OneWeb.
Last year, a consortium of billionaire Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Global Ltd and the British government had won an auction to acquire satellite operator OneWeb that collapsed after its biggest investor SoftBank pulled funding.
The two consortium partners committed to provide $1 billion to acquire OneWeb and fund the full restart of its operations.
OneWeb had filed for bankruptcy in the US in late March after SoftBank decided not to inject more capital into the company. The Japanese conglomerate led by Masayoshi Son had previously invested about $2 billion in OneWeb.