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OneWeb files for bankruptcy

Satellite communications start-up OneWeb has filed for bankruptcy after failing to secure funding it had been negotiating since the beginning of the year.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"} According to OneWeb, this investment would have fully funded the company through its deployment and commercial launch, however, as a result of market turbulence due to COVID-19, the firm has not been able to secure this investment.

One of OneWeb’s largest shareholders, SoftBank, had already contributed US $2 billion and was reportedly considering further investment but made the decision not to.

The news comes less than a week after OneWeb launched 34 more satellites into space, bringing the total number of satellites in the OneWeb constellation to 74.

OneWeb states that it has filed for a number of customary motions with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking authorisation to support its ongoing operations during the Chapter 11 process, including approval for the consensual use of its existing cash collateral to continue to fund the business. In addition, OneWeb is actively negotiating debtor-in-possession financing, which, if acquired and approved by the Bankruptcy Court, will ensure OneWeb is able to fund additional financial commitments as it conducts a sale process under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Together, these actions will allow OneWeb to meet post-petition obligations to its remaining employees and certain vendors in the ordinary course.

Adrian Steckel, chief executive officer of OneWeb stated: “OneWeb has been building a truly global communications network to provide high-speed low latency broadband everywhere. Our current situation is a consequence of the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. We remain convinced of the social and economic value of our mission to connect everyone everywhere. Today is a difficult day for us at OneWeb. So many people have dedicated so much energy, effort, and passion to this company and our mission.

“Our hope is that this process will allow us to carve a path forward that leads to the completion of our mission, building on the years of effort and the billions of invested capital. It is with a very heavy heart that we have been forced to reduce our workforce and enter the Chapter 11 process while the Company’s remaining employees are focused on responsibly managing our nascent constellation and working with the Court and investors.” {/mprestriction}

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