A US bankruptcy court approved the sale of OneWeb to the consortium on July 10th in return for a guaranteed $1 billion sum, which will be paid 50/50 by the UK and Bharti.
OneWeb issued a statement in which the firm stated, “The parties will work to complete the plan sale process, including filing our plan and disclosure statements with the court, conducting voting with our creditors, and seeking regulatory approval and completing customary closing conditions, and expect the process to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020.”
The UK/Bharti rescue plan presented to the New York court provides about $640 million to take the business forward – after various settlement costs are deducted.
There are other hurdles to overcome, including regulatory approvals, although the parties stress they do not see serious obstacles ahead.
Meanwhile, the bankruptcy court dealt on July 10th with a slew of other matters relating to the OneWeb bankruptcy. The firm’s ‘debtor in possession’ authorization was extended — that allows OneWeb to continue in business. One important aspect was OneWeb’s relationship with the existing joint-venture with Airbus in Airbus OneWeb Satellite, which has been building OneWeb’s satellites at a Florida factory.
The court permitted OneWeb to enter into an agreement with the satellite arm of the business and pay an advance sum of $50.7 million for the purchase of satellites.
The Court also received OneWeb’s next 13-week budget of $92.25 million in expenditure plus a further $29 million in costs relating to the restructuring of the company. The court has also approved periodic financing to flow into ‘new’ OneWeb from the buyers as part of the company’s restructuring and transition out of bankruptcy.
In additional news, Arqiva, the UK broadcast transmission and cellular mast operator, is reportedly planning to lay off about a third of its employees, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.
The report stated that the company, which is in the end-stages of selling its cellular mast division, is planning a radical restructuring that would see more than 500 of the firm’s staff made redundant.
Arqiva is owned by a consortium led by PSP Investments and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (48 percent) along with Australian fund manager and 25 percent by investment bank Macquarie (via its Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund). However, a £2 billion sale of Arqiva’s cellular towers business to Spain’s Cellnex Telecom has been passed by the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority in April. The sale to Cellnex is expected to close during this quarter.
Recently, Arqiva appointed a new CEO in Paul Donovan, an existing board member, and who took over that position on June 30th.
Arqiva retains its important broadcast TV and radio division, along with media playout, satellite teleports and uplinking and asset management businesses.
Reports by journalist Chris Forrester, filing at the Advanced Television infosite...