OneWeb is in Chapter 11 protection. Trade news publication Space Intel Report suggests that Eutelsat’s interest is undertaken on behalf of the French government. The UK government has also taken a look at the company’s assets and accounts.
More detail is likely to emerge on April 29th when a hearing is scheduled before the bankruptcy court. What is already known is that a Bidding process has been agreed with the court including a “stalking horse” process. The actual auction (if the business is not sold) is scheduled to start on July 2nd at the offices of Milbank LLP, lawyers for the action, and finalized a week later on July 10th.
If the bidding goes to several rounds, then each potential bidder must participate in each round of the bidding.
Eutelsat’s interest is fascinating given that it has only extremely limited plans for its own LEO plans. Eutelsat is planning a fleet of smallsats for IoT access. Acquiring the OneWeb fleet might be seen as a ‘bargain basement’ option, although winning an auction would also force Eutelsat to fund the building of the rest of OneWeb’s fleet.
SpaceX is also an interesting aspect, given that the company already has 400+ satellites already on-orbit — perhaps it is interested in the Airbus joint-venture which OneWeb has to build satellites in Florida.