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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Thomas Seal

Satellite firm takes $230m Russia hit

Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan

British satellite startup OneWeb took a $229m (€229m) writedown after Russia scuppered its launch plans and took 36 of its spacecraft hostage earlier this year.

The impairment came after OneWeb cancelled a launch in March at a Kremlin-controlled launchpad in Kazakhstan, after refusing Russia's demand for Britain to sell its stake in the company.

That postponed a series of planned launches, incurred an insurance cost, and left the satellites in Russia's hands, OneWeb said in accounts published yesterday.

The London-based company is part owned by the British government alongside other investors including Indian telecom group Bharti, Softbank and French satellite operator Eutelsat which agreed to merge with OneWeb in July. The UK will keep its golden share.


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