Hanwha, the South Korean global technology and manufacturing company, has announced a USD $300m equity investment by Hanwha Systems (“Hanwha”) in OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company. Hanwha brings further defence capabilities and the latest antenna technologies to OneWeb, alongside relationships to new government customers and expanded geographical reach.
This investment brings OneWeb’s total equity investment since November 2020 to USD $2.7bn with no debt issuance.
OneWeb’s first-generation fleet of 648 satellites that will deliver global coverage in 2022 is fully funded. To date, the company has launched 254 satellites into orbit, with another launch planned this August from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Thanks to the success of recent launches, OneWeb’s network will be ready to offer connectivity services from 50th parallel and above by the end of 2021 to fully fixed energy rigs operating onshore and offshore in the 50N and above region. Longer term, the development will potentially unlock new, untapped commercial fishing and merchant shipping operations in the Asia-Pacific region as well as enabling improved environmental monitoring.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder & Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, said: “We welcome Hanwha to OneWeb. These are exciting and fast-paced times in the space sector. With Hanwha alongside, we will be able to access the highest quality of technological thinking and development. They are a powerful partner in our global mission to connect the world.”
Youn Chul KIM, President, CEO & Director, Hanwha Systems, said: “We are pleased to join hands with OneWeb, which has strength in the LEO communication area, the core of space business. To OneWeb‘s vision of connecting all the people across the globe, Hanwha Systems satellite and antenna technology will bring more advantages.”
Kwasi Kwarteng, UK Business Secretary, said: “Today’s $300m investment in OneWeb by Hanwha is the latest in a series of votes of confidence in the company from the market. It’s clear that leading global investors see a promising future for this ground-breaking company and a robust commercial case for investment.
“The Government’s equity stake in OneWeb not only allows the UK to capitalise on our first-mover advantage to deploy low Earth orbit technology but will put our country at the forefront of the small satellite market, which is set to rapidly expand over the years ahead.”
Neil Masterson, CEO, OneWeb, said: “Hanwha brings advanced defence and antenna technology development to the OneWeb line-up. We are all delighted that they have chosen to join us on this journey of innovation, shaping a global service to connect the most remote locations and to provide a critical digital pathway from space to our interconnected world.”