France's Eutelsat in talks over possible merger with UK satellite operator OneWeb
The tie-up is also politically sensitive, as it would bring Indian billionaire Sunil Bharti Mittal, France, China and Britain together as shareholders of the combined entity. Eutelsat said it estimated the 'satellite connectivity' market to be worth around $16 billion by 2030.
French satellite company Eutelsat said it was in talks with British rival OneWeb over a possible merger deal, which would help both companies challenge the likes of Elon Musk-owned SpaceX's Starlink and Amazon.com's Project Kuiper.
"Following recent market rumors, Eutelsat Communications confirms that it has engaged in discussions with its co-shareholders in OneWeb regarding a potential all-share combination to create a global leader in connectivity with complementary GEO/LEO activities," said Eutelsat on Monday. The talks were based around a transaction that would result in Eutelsat and OneWeb shareholders each holding 50% of the new, combined entity, while there were no assurances that the talks would result in any final agreement, added Eutelsat.
The transaction would strengthen both companies in the race to build a constellation of low-orbit satellites, challenging SpaceX's Starlink and Amazon.com Inc's Project Kuiper. The tie-up is also politically sensitive, as it would bring Indian billionaire Sunil Bharti Mittal, France, China, and Britain together as shareholders of the combined entity.
Eutelsat said it estimated the 'satellite connectivity market to be worth around $16 billion by 2030. Demand for satellite launches is expected to accelerate after recent sanctions have sidelined the Russian space launch industry and giant satellite constellations could offer a new channel to beam broadband internet from space.
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