Milbank has successfully guided OneWeb Global Limited (“OneWeb” or “the Debtors”), a company developing the first world-wide high-speed internet connectivity network through a low-earth orbiting satellite constellation, to confirmation of its plan of reorganization in its chapter 11 cases. OneWeb obtained confirmation of its chapter 11 plan on October 2, 2020, paving the way for closing the sale of the business as a going concern to a consortium group, referred to as BidCo 100 Limited (“BidCo”) and led by the UK government and Indian mobile phone operator Bharti Global Ltd.
OneWeb, listing approximately $3.3 billion in assets and $2.1 billion in liabilities, filed for chapter 11 protection on March 27, 2020 in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (“Bankruptcy Court”) after its attempts to raise new capital were interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
To maintain existing operations, Milbank, on behalf of the Debtors, negotiated and obtained the use of cash collateral and debtor-in-possession financing and helped stabilize OneWeb’s operations through, among other things, the negotiation of amendments to several key vendor and supplier agreements. Milbank also coordinated a competitive marketing process for the sale of the Debtors’ business, which resulted in the successful bid submitted by BidCo. With over $1 billion in value, the successful bid by BidCo, once consummated, will allow OneWeb to emerge from chapter 11 and continue its business plan toward completing the world’s first global satellite communications network capable of connecting everyone everywhere.
Milbank also led efforts to reach a global settlement as part of a mediation before Judge Shelley C. Chapman—resolving the Committee of Unsecured Creditors’ attack on the Secured Creditors’ claims and terms of the proposed chapter 11 plan and clearing the path to a fully consensual confirmation of the plan.
The transactions outlined in the chapter 11 plan will become effective following receipt of regulatory approvals, which are expected before the end of 2020. OneWeb is currently resuming operations and readying its commercial services, which are planned to start in 2021.
The Milbank team representing OneWeb is led by Financial Restructuring partners Dennis Dunne, Tyson Lomazow, and Lauren Doyle, Litigation and Financial Restructuring partner Andrew Leblanc and partners Dara Panahy, Peter Nesgos (Transportation & Space), Nicholas Angel (Financial Restructuring), and Russell Jacobs (Tax), and special counsel Brian Kinney (Financial Restructuring) and associate Will Schumacher (Financial Restructuring).