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Tuesday, September 27, 2022


British-Owned Satellite Startup Takes $229 Million Writedown After Kremlin Halts Kazakhstan-Based Launch Plans

Today in “Western sanctions on Russia at work” news…

OneWeb, a British startup company that is partly owned by the British government, was forced to take a $229 million writedown this week after Russia prevented its plans for a launch earlier this year and held 36 of its satellites hostage.

The company reported that its net loss for the year ending March 31 was $390 million and that it had taken in revenue of only $9.6 million. However, it has orders for “more than $300 million”, it disclosed. 

The company had planned on a launch in March 2022 that was supposed to take place from a Kremlin-controlled launchpad in Kazakhstan, Bloomberg wrote last week in a wrap up. But the launch was cancelled after the Kremlin demanded that Britain sell its stake in the company, which never occurred.

Planned launches after the one in March were also cancelled. 

Other owners of the company, in addition to the British government, include Bharti, Softbank Group Corp and French satellite operator Eutelsat SA. In July, Eutelsat agreed to merger with OneWeb in a $3.4 billion business combination. 

Together the newly formed company is focusing on low-earth orbit or “LEO” broadband, competing with Starlink and Blue Origin, who are attempting similar projects. 

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