Leading global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Bharti Global and the UK Government (through the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) backed OneWeb on investments in OneWeb from SoftBank and Hughes Network bringing OneWeb’s total funding to US$1.4 billion.
The capital raised to date positions the Company to be fully funded for its first-generation satellite fleet, totalling 648 satellites, by the end of 2022.
In November 2020, Bharti Global and the UK Government completed its acquisition of OneWeb and invested US$1 billion of new equity to offer broadband connectivity services, via a constellation of 650 LEO satellites. In December 2020, OneWeb launched 36 new satellites, built at its Airbus Joint Venture assembly plant in Florida, USA, bringing its total fleet to 110 satellites.
The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by OneWeb relationship partners Alan Montgomery and Gavin Davies and senior associate Siddhartha Shukla. Specialist advice was provided by Veronica Roberts, Joseph Falcone and Hubert Segain (regulatory), Aaron White (TMT), and Isaac Zailer (tax).
Alan Montgomery commented: “It has been a real privilege to work with Bharti, Her Majesty’s Government, OneWeb, SoftBank and Hughes on these significant investments and also to continue to be part of the OneWeb story”.
Gavin Davies commented: “We are delighted that Bharti and the UK Government continue to call on our strategic capital and TMT sector expertise, in this significant next step in this partnership for broadband connectivity”.
Herbert Smith Freehills had also advised Bharti and its consortium with the UK Government on the acquisition of OneWeb (see here).