The merger, which is subject to approval from regulators and Eutelsat shareholders, is expected to close by mid-2023 and it values OneWeb at $3.4 billion. Shareholders of OneWeb and Eutelsat will each own half of the combined company.
Eutelsat has a fleet of 36 geostationary orbit satellites. These will be combined with OneWeb's cluster of low-earth orbit satellites, which can provide internet access from the skies. OneWeb currently has 428 satellites in orbit of a planned 648 in its first-generation network.
OneWeb and Eutelsat expect to have combined revenues of $1.56 billion in the 2022-23 fiscal year. Eutelsat chair Dominique D'Hinnin and CEO Eva Berneke will remain in those positions in the merged entity. OneWeb investor Sunil Bharti Mittal will become co-chairman.
After the expected merger, the UK will retain a "special share" in OneWeb as well as exclusive rights over the company. These grant the government a significant say in national security controls over the network and veto rights over certain decisions, such as the location of OneWeb's headquarters.