Wind Mobile To Be Bought By Russian VimpelCom
This is quite big news. Tony Lacavera, Chariman of Globalive, the company which owns the Wind Mobile brand, announced today on windmobile.ca that Wind Telecom will be bought by Russian telecom company VimpelCom for $6 billion.
Lacavera had this to say:
“Earlier today, the shareholders of Russian mobile telephone operator VimpelCom voted in support of a $6 billion deal to acquire WIND Telecom, whose assets include Orascom Telecom, a significant shareholder in WIND Mobile. The parties are now moving to close the deal, likely sometime in the first half of 2011.
This transaction would create the world’s fifth largest mobile operator by subscribers – more than 173 million subscribers!
This is great news for us. Our partner, Orascom, will be even larger and stronger as a financial partner. This gives us more leverage and increased scale with telecom network equipment manufacturers and more importantly, for devices including handsets and tablets. This will also give us more access to international cooperation for roaming and long distance services. All of that means the ability to deliver even more value to all of our customers.
I will keep you posted as new details emerge.”
Interesting development for sure. This could mean better international rates for Wind subscribers, as well as more capital for buying spectrum in the upcoming auctions, and sway with hardware providers for cheaper network equipment and access to handsets.
The structure of the deal should be interesting, considering that Wind has had trouble dealing with Canada’s foreign ownership rules regarding telecom companies in the past. Expect the CRTC and the current telecom companies to look into this.