Hanwha Systems buys 8.8% of OneWeb, a satellite internet company
Hanwha Systems will invest $300 million in OneWeb, a broadband satellite communications company that recently emerged from bankruptcy.
The investment will be completed by the first half of 2022, subject to regulatory approval.
Once the deal is finalized, Hanwha Systems will own 8.8 percent of OneWeb and have a seat of the board. Other investors include the British government, Japan’s SoftBank, France’s Eutelsat and provider Bharti Global, an Indian mobile communications company.
Korea's flag will be added to the satellite, along with the British, French, Indian and Japanese flags, as a result of the investment.
OneWeb went bankrupt in early 2020 and emerged from bankruptcy in November with support of a British government-Bharti Global consortium.
OneWeb is a London-based low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company that aims to provide internet connections globally. It competes with Space X’s Starlink, and currently operates 254 LEO satellites. It aims to achieve global coverage by having a total of 648 by next year.
The company has yet to provide commercial service.
Hanwha Systems will be a supplier to OneWeb.
"Hanwha brings advanced defense and antenna technology development to the OneWeb line-up,” said Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb. “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."
Hanwha Systems said that its participation could help in the provision of service to Asia. OneWeb’s satellites are currently able to cover parts of the globe north of the 50 degrees latitude, including the continental United States, Britain, Greenland, Iceland, Canada and Northern Europe.
The role of the company's Space Hub, a team formed in March to spearhead investment and recruitment in the aerospace business, will be strengthened starting with the recent investment.
Following the announcement, shares of Kospi-listed Hanwha Systems jumped 7.74 percent to 18,100 won on Thursday.
BY LEE TAE-HEE [email@example.com]