Eutelsat increases OneWeb stake

Eutelsat Communications has increased its shareholding in UK communications network company OneWeb.

The French satellite operator has increased its stake from 17.6% to 22.9% for US$165 million. This builds on Eutelsat’s initial investment of US$550 million in OneWeb that was announced in April.

Eutelsat’s 22.9% holding will make it the second largest shareholder behind Bharti with 30.0%.

Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat CEO, said: “We are hugely excited to grasp this opportunity to deepen our commitment to OneWeb. The significant progress it has made in the run-up to its now imminent entry into service, together with the vote of confidence demonstrated by the commitment of both its investors and future customers, makes us even more convinced of OneWeb’s right-to-win in the low earth orbit (LEO) constellation segment.”

The announcement comes days after Eutelsat turned down a takeover proposal from Altice owner Patrick Drahi. Drahi offered €12.10 a share for the satellite operator, but Eutelsat later said that the proposal was too small.

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