Thursday, June 26, 2008

Virgin Mobile USA to Acquire Helio for Approximately $39 Million in Equity

Virgin Mobile USA agreed to acquire Helio, the joint venture MVNO between SK Telecom and EarthLink, for limited partnership units equivalent to 13 million shares of Virgin Mobile USA class A common stock, with a value of about $39 million. Both carrier's purchase wholesale capacity on Sprint's PCS network.

The deal will give Virgin approximately 170,000 Helio customers with approximately $80 ARPU. Virgin Mobile USA will also gain an established and highly advanced postpaid billing and customer care platform, marking its entrance into this segment of the market. Virgin also noted that the Helio also gives it a set of unique and differentiated data applications, greatly enhancing its offer across its customer base.http://virginmobileusa.mediaroom.com

  • In January 2008, Helio, the U.S. joint venture between SK Telecom and EarthLink, activated its 200,000 mobile subscriber. Average revenue per user (ARPU) is over $85, well above the industry average.

  • In September 2007, SK Telecom confirmed plans to invest up to an additional $270 million in Helio, the U.S.. EarthLink was renegotiating its stake in the venture.