Musk and Eutelsat eye OneWeb assets
April 28, 2020
By Chris Forrester
Elon Musk’s SpaceX as well as Paris-based Eutelsat have looked at OneWeb Global’s assets. OneWeb is in Chapter 11 protection. Trade news publication Space Intel Report suggests that Eutelsat’s interest is undertaken on behalf of the French government. The UK government has also taken a look at the company’s assets and accounts.
More detail is likely to emerge on April 29th when a hearing is scheduled before the bankruptcy court. What is already known is that a Bidding process has been agreed with the court including a “stalking horse” process. The actual auction (if the business is not sold) is scheduled to start on July 2nd at the offices of Milbank LLP, lawyers for the action, and finalised a week later on July 10th.
If the bidding goes to several rounds then each potential bidder must participate in each round of the bidding.
Eutelsat’s interest is fascinating given that it has only extremely limited plans for its own Low Earth orbiting plans. Eutelsat is planning a fleet of small satellites for Internet of Things access. Acquiring the OneWeb fleet might be seen as a ‘bargain basement’ option although winning an auction would also force Eutelsat to fund the building of the rest of OneWeb’s fleet.
SpaceX is also an interesting cash given that it already has 400+ satellites already in orbit. Perhaps it is interested in the Airbus joint-venture which OneWeb has to build satellites in Florida.