OneWeb gets a big cash boost from Korean conglomerate

Aug 13, 2021

Korean conglomerate Hanwha Systems Co.  is to invest $300 million in OneWeb, in a deal that will help fund the British company’s second generation of spacecraft. OneWeb has plans to circle 648 satellites in low-earth orbit to blanket the planet with broadband, filling gaps in coverage and selling bandwidth to governments and businesses.

According to Bloomberg OneWeb expects Hanwha’s investment to close in the first half of 2022, it said in a statement. The Seoul-headquartered company will own 8.8% of OneWeb and gain a board seat.

The deal cements a turnaround since OneWeb went bankrupt at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. In June, London-based OneWeb said its first planned network was already fully funded. The injection from Hanwha takes OneWeb’s equity value to $2.7 billion and marks its first money toward upgrading that system with new satellites carrying better technology. It’s launched 254 of the first batch so far.

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