We are advising Airbus on the transaction

Davis Polk is advising Airbus on a $100 million investment by a Japanese consortium in its subsidiary AALTO HAPS, which manufactures and operates the stratospheric, solar-powered Zephyr High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS). The Japanese consortium, led by NTT DOCOMO and Space Compass and including Mizuho Bank and the Development Bank of Japan, will invest through a new investment vehicle, HAPS JAPAN Corporation. The investment marks the beginning of a strategic alliance to commercialize connectivity and earth observation services using HAPS in Japan and across Asia. It will also support the industrial and commercial roadmap for AALTO’s services, targeting launch in Japan and a global entry-into-service in 2026. Detailed terms of the investment, which is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals, have not been disclosed.

Airbus pioneers sustainable aerospace for a safe and united world. Airbus constantly innovates to provide efficient and technologically advanced solutions in aerospace, defense and connected services. AALTO, a subsidiary of Airbus, is a global leader in connectivity and earth observation services from the stratosphere. Based in Farnborough, United Kingdom, AALTO designs, manufactures and offers services using its record-breaking Zephyr High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS).

NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s leading mobile operator with over 89 million subscriptions, is one of the world’s foremost contributors to 3G, 4G and 5G mobile network technologies. Space Compass is a joint venture company between NTT, Japanese Information and Communications Technology leader, and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, Asia’s largest satellite operator.

The Davis Polk corporate team includes partner Will Pearce and associates Daniel Lindars and Federica Camilleri de Marco. The tax team includes partner Dominic Foulkes and associate Patrick O’Donovan. Counsel Neil Sharpe is providing executive compensation advice. The antitrust and regulatory team includes partner Paul D. Marquardt, counsel Matthew Yeowart and associates Ben Isaacs, Charles Marshall Wilson and Dylan Jones. Members of the Davis Polk team are based in the London, Brussels and Washington DC offices.