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Herbert Smith Freehills advises Bharti and its consortium with the UK government on the acquisition of OneWeb

26 November 2020 | London
Deals and cases

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Leading global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Bharti Global and its consortium with the UK Government (through the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), on the successful closing of the acquisition of OneWeb in connection with its US court-supervised Chapter 11 sale process.

OneWeb is a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) broadband satellite communications company which will continue to be headquartered in the UK, bringing new R&D programmes, manufacturing opportunities and a global platform with priority spectrum usage rights.  

Bharti and the UK Government has invested $1bn of new equity to offer broadband connectivity services, via a constellation of 650 LEO satellites.  

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by Bharti relationship partner Alan Montgomery, Global Head of M&A Gavin Davies and Senior Associate Siddhartha Shukla.  Specialist advice was provided by Aaron White and David Coulling (TMT), Veronica Roberts, Joseph Falcone and Hubert Segain (regulatory), Isaac Zailer (tax), and Kevin Pullen (restructuring).  

Alan Montgomery commented: "It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with Bharti, Her Majesty’s Government and the OneWeb team on closing this historic transaction.  It was an extremely complex, multifaceted transaction that required cutting edge expertise from our TMT industry experts and from a wide range of practice areas and offices across our firm.  The deal is testament to our strong TMT industry focus, the depth of our expertise in a broad range of disciplines and our global footprint."

Gavin Davies commented: "We are delighted our clients are able to continue to execute significant and complex M&A in these disrupted times, in this case through a cross border sale, in a US court supervised bankruptcy process, with the UK Government in consortium with our client."

Shravin Bharti Mittal, Director, Bharti Global, commented:  “Thank you all for the hard work on getting this done!  A pleasure as always to work with the HSF team.”

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