Microwave Journal

OneWeb Takes $229M Writedown

September 6, 2022

OneWeb reportedly was hit with a $229 million writedown after Russia’s space agency cancelled its launch plans earlier this year prior to holding 36 of its satellites hostage.

OneWeb, a low Earth orbit satellite communications company majority-owned by the U.K. government, planned to launch its satellites on a Russian Soyuz rocket but Dmitry Rogozin, the former head of the Russian space agency, demanded the British government sell its stake in the satellite company, which it refused to do.

Bloomberg reported the postponement of the planned launches, in addition to the loss of the satellites, also led to an increased insurance cost.

Following the cancelled launches in Russia, OneWeb struck a deal to have its satellites launched on U.S.-based SpaceX’s rockets this year.

OneWeb signed a provisional agreement to merge with French satellite operator Eutelsat in July. Once the deal is complete, Eutelsat will retain all of OneWeb, except for the stake owned by the U.K. government.

Prior to the deal Eutelsat already owned a 23 percent stake in OneWeb while other investors include Indian telecom group Bharti and Softbank Group.