French satellite operator Eutelsat is close to acquiring British OneWeb

French satellite operator Eutelsat is close to a deal to acquire British competitor OneWeb, the Financial Times reports citing informed sources.

The deal could be announced on July 25. Eutelsat already owns 24% in OneWeb.

The merger will create one of the largest players in the satellite communications market, with participation from the French government (20% in Eutelsat), the Chinese sovereign wealth fund (5% in Eutelsat), the UK government (nearly 18% in OneWeb), and Indian billionaire Sunil Bharti Mittal (30% in OneWeb).

Eutelsat capitalization is 2.4 billion euros, while the company’s debt reaches 3 billion euros. The non-listed OneWeb was valued at $3.4 billion in its latest funding round.

Steve Walker

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