Bharti and HMG Consortium’s $1 Billion Investment in OneWeb

Cravath represented Bharti and the consortium in connection with the transaction, while Weil advised UK Government and Herbert Smith Freehills advised Bharti, and the UK Government.

OneWeb, the broadband satellite communications company, announced its emergence from chapter 11. A consortium led by Bharti Global Limited (“Bharti”) and Her Majesty’s Government (“HMG”) (through the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) has invested $1 billion in the OneWeb business to offer broadband connectivity services, via a constellation of 650 low Earth orbit satellites.

The consortium brings immediate commercial value to OneWeb. Bharti, through Bharti Airtel, is the third largest mobile operator in the world, with over 425 million customers. Bharti Airtel has its own extensive mobile broadband networks and enterprise business, which will act as the testing ground for all OneWeb products, services, and applications. Bharti will contribute significant contract value to OneWeb through its presence across South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, where the terrain necessitates the use of satellite-based connectivity, providing a near-term anchor customer for large-scale global deployment of OneWeb’s services.

The commitment of HMG accelerates and enhances OneWeb’s global access. OneWeb will contribute to the UK government’s ambition to join the first rank of space nations, along with its commitment to making the UK the world’s leader in science and research and development.

The Cravath team included partners Paul H. Zumbro (Picture) and George E. Zobitz and associates Alexander Gerten and Harold C. King on bankruptcy matters; partners Damien R. Zoubek and Allison M. Wein and associates Bethany A. Pfalzgraf and Jerome C. Newton on M&A matters; partners Lauren Angelilli and Kara L. Mungovan and associate Peter W. Rogers on tax matters; of counsel Christopher J. Kelly and associate Carol S. Lin on banking and credit matters; partner Eric W. Hilfers and practice area attorney Sarah W. Colangelo on executive compensation and benefits matters; partner David J. Kappos and associates Kathryn-Ann Stamm and Carys Webb on intellectual property matters; partner Margaret T. Segall and senior attorney Jesse M. Weiss on antitrust matters; and senior attorney Annmarie M. Terraciano on environmental matters.

The Weil team was led by David Avery Gee, Mike Francies and Simon Lyell.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partner Alan Montgomery, partner Gavin Davies and senior associate Siddhartha Shukla.

Involved fees earner: Lauren Angelilli – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Sarah Colangelo – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Margaret Segall D’Amico – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Alexander Gerten – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Eric Hilfers – Cravath Swaine & Moore; David Kappos – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Christopher Kelly – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Harold King – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Kara Mungovan – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Jerome Newton – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Bethany Pfalzgraf – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Peter Rogers – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Kathryn‑Ann Stamm – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Annmarie Terraciano – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Carys Webb – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Allison Wein – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Jesse Weiss – Cravath Swaine & Moore; George Zobitz – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Damien Zoubek – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Paul Zumbro – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Gavin Davies – Herbert Smith Freehills; Alan Montgomery – Herbert Smith Freehills; Siddhartha Shukla – Herbert Smith Freehills; David Avery-Gee – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Mike Francies – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Simon Lyell – Weil, Gotshal & Manges;

Law Firms: Cravath Swaine & Moore; Herbert Smith Freehills; Weil, Gotshal & Manges;

Clients: Bharti Global Limited; UK Government;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti