Softbank pushes merger of its OneWeb investment and Intelsat to create satellite giant

Jasper Jolly
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Intelsat launched its first satellite in 1965 (Source: Getty)

Japanese technology investor Softbank is lining up a merger between its OneWeb investment and rival Intelsat, according to reports.

Talks of a merger are at an advanced stage, according to Sky News, with Softbank looking to capitalise on its recent $1bn (£800m) investment in the company.

The deal could be announced today as the New York-listed Intelsat reports its results.

Read more: SoftBank invests $1bn in satellite initiative OneWeb

OneWeb aims to provide broadband internet access to remote rural communities around the world. It plans to launch 10 production satellites in early 2018, and is hoping to start providing its first internet access by 2019.

Airbus and Coca-Cola are among the other investors in OneWeb, along with Richard Branson’s Virgin.

The tie-up with Intelsat, which launched its first satellite in 1965, would create a strong player in non-wired internet coverage around the world.

The potential merger deal comes after Softbank pledged in December to invest $50bn (£40bn) in the US as part of a new technology fund.

Softbank, Intelsat, and OneWeb did not respond to requests for comment.

Read more: Virgin Galactic joining the space race for broadband with OneWeb

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