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Eutelsat CEO: “Video in decline”

June 18, 2023

By Chris Forrester

Eutelsat’s CEO Eva Berneke, speaking on CNBC, said that some shareholders had withdrawn their investments in Eutelsat but they had been replaced by others. She explained that the suspension of the company’s long-standing dividend payments meant that some shareholders who had relied upon those payments had decided to exit.

Eutelsat is in the process of merging with OneWeb Satellites, and this meant saving those dividend payments in order to fund the €4 billion development of OneWeb’s ‘second generation’ satellites. “OneWeb is the big bet,” Berneke told CNBC at the VivaTech conference in Paris.

Berneke confirmed that the combined businesses would have a secondary stock market listing in London.

She admitted that Eutelsat was going through a “180 degree” turnaround in its existing business strategy, changing from a dependable, but very slow growth business, to a faster growing business. “Video and broadcasting is changing, shifting to streaming, and is in slow decline [on our satellites].”

Part of Eutelsat’s hope with OneWeb is that it will help the company compete with Musk’s Starlink as well as Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s effort with Project Kuiper.

New shareholders had come into the company, she said, and one significant existing investor had expanded its shareholding. A major shipping company had recently taken 10 percent of Eutelsat’s share issue.

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