Eutelsat is backed by France as the main owner and China as the fourth largest shareholder, while Oneweb is owned by the British state and the Indian entrepreneur Sunil Bharti Mittal.
Paris The French satellite operator Eutelsat wants to buy the British competitor Oneweb. “Against the background of market rumors, we confirm that we have started discussions with OneWeb’s co-shareholders about a complete takeover,” Eutelsat said on Monday.
After the transaction, Eutelsat and OneWeb shareholders would each hold 50 percent of the new combined company. However, there is no guarantee of a final agreement.
Reuters reported on the plans on Sunday, citing two people familiar with the negotiations. Oneweb was valued at $3.4 billion in its latest round of funding. Eutelsat already holds a 23 percent stake in the British company, making it already the second largest shareholder.