Turkish delight for Virgin after EUR10m investment boost

17 Sep 2014

Dubai-based Delta Partners Capital has announced that a definitive agreement has been signed for an investment of up to EUR10 million (USD12.9 million) in Virgin Mobile Central and Eastern Europe (VMCEE). The investment will be carried out through the Delta Partners Emerging Markets TMT Growth Fund II. Meanwhile, the International Finance Corporation (IFC – a member of the World Bank Group), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and CEE Mobile Capital (spearheaded by Dick Kiphart of KGC Capital) are also participating in this round of funding; the precise terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Alan Gow, CEO of VMCEE, noted: ‘Having an investor with the industry expertise and MVNO-specific experience of Delta Partners Capital is of clear benefit to VMCEE. We look forward to working closely with our shareholders in order to capture the significant opportunity for growth that exists in Poland, Turkey, and across the region.’

The capital will be used to fund the further growth and international expansion of VMCEE. Following the investment, Kai-Uwe Ricke, chairman of Delta Partners Group, will join the board of VMCEE, while Boris Nemsic, executive partner at Delta Partners Capital, and the former CEO of both Telekom Austria and Vimpelcom, will join the board of Virgin Mobile Poland.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Virgin Mobile Polska launched in August 2012, and currently piggybacks on Play’s network. While the company has yet to commence operations in Turkey, it stated its interest in entering the MVNO sector in September 2012, going as far as participating in negotiations with mobile market leader Turkcell. Virgin is now expected to target a 2015 launch, while the group’s VMCEE unit also harbours plans to launch in countries such as Kazakhstan and Hungary.

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