OneWeb goes bankrupt
by Launchspace Staff Writers
Bethesda MD (SPX) Apr 07, 2020
The OneWeb satellite system was a planned initial 650-satelliteconstellation that was in the process of being built out with 74 satellites already in orbit. The goal was to provide global satellite Internet broadband services. Initial services were scheduled to start in 2021. OneWeb was headquartered in London, England, with offices in the US, UAE and Singapore.
OneWeb suddenly declared bankruptcy on March 27, 2020 and has laid off most of its employees. The company is maintaining its satellite operations center for the 74 satellites already in orbit while the court determines the disposition of OneWeb's assets.
The total of 74 satellites in orbit is made up of six test satellites that were launched in February 2019. This was followed by the first large batch of 34 satellites, launched in February 2020. The final 34 were launched on March 21, 2020.
OneWeb satellites were built by a joint venture between Airbus and OneWeb. These satellites were designed to operate in circular orbits at approximately 1,200 km altitude transmitting and receiving in the Ku band. Prior to the bankruptcy, OneWeb had been considering nearly quadrupling the size of the satellite constellation over time by adding 1,972 satellites to the initial set.
OneWeb's bankruptcy announcement indicated that it intends to use the court proceedings to pursue a sale of its business in order to maximize the value of the company. Apparently, the bankruptcy filing was precipitated when the company failed to secure new funding from investors including its biggest backer, SoftBank. The coronavirus pandemic was mentioned as one reason for the investment decision. OneWeb had previously raised $3 billion over multiple rounds of financing and was seeking more money to fund its deployment and commercial launch next year.
OneWeb was founded as WorldVu by Greg Wyler in 2012. OneWeb said it laid off about 85 percent of its 531 employees prior to filing for bankruptcy. SpaceNews noted that OneWeb has $2.1 billion in total liabilities, including $1.7 billion in senior secured financing plus money owed to between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors. OneWeb also operates the satellite-production factory in Florida that is a joint venture with Airbus.
OneWeb files for bankruptcy over financial squeeze
Moscow (Sputnik) Mar 27, 2020
UK company OneWeb, which was planning to create a constellation of satellites to provide global internet access, announced that it has filed for bankruptcy in New York after failing to obtain financing amid the coronavirus pandemic. "OneWeb announced Friday that the Company and certain of its controlled affiliates have voluntarily filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The Company intends to use these proceedings ... read more
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