Orascom Reportedly Looking to Sell WIND Mobile to ‘Big 3′ Carriers?

A couple days ago WIND Mobile announced its parent company, Orascom, would gain 99.3% control of the company and become Canada’s first foreign-owned wireless carrier. The moves comes as WIND Mobile CEO Anthony Lacavera sells his portion of the company to Orascom, and will step down as CEO but continue as an honorary chair.

Does Orascom plan to sell WIND Mobile? According to their industry sources, The Globe and Mail reports Orascom has considered numerous options for its Canadian investment, with one of them being a sale to an existing wireless incumbent, which would be counterintuitive to the federal government’s plan to open up Canada’s wireless industry.

Orascom is reportedly “anxious” to cut its losses in Canada (they said to have ‘regretted’ entering the Canadian wireless market) and looks to sell WIND Mobile to either Bell, TELUS or Rogers, with the latter cited as the most frequently mentioned buyer:

Despite speculation that Mr. Lacavera’s departure from Wind would forge a path to an eventual merger with rival newcomer Mobilicity, industry sources suggest that Wind’s foreign financial backers are anxious to cut their losses and sell their Canadian assets. Sources say that merger talks with Mobilicity have recently run cold as Amsterdam-based VimpelCom Ltd., the majority owner of Orascom, mulls a possible sale of Wind to a Canadian incumbent. Rogers Communications Inc. is the name most often floated as the potential buyer.

WIND’s merger talks with Mobilicity have fizzled because “everybody thinks their company’s worth a lot…nobody can ever agree on valuation” said a source familiar with discussions.

It was just last week Rogers and Shaw announced a $700 million cable deal which included a $50 million purchase option of Shaw’s unused AWS spectrum, purchased in 2009. The source says the close proximity of both announcements is not a coincidence.

The CEO of VimpelCom (Orascom’s parent company), Jo Olav Lunder, was recently asked at an investor day about its Canadian investment and said they are still deciding its future.

[via The Globe and Mail]

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  • http://twitter.com/Chrome262 Chrome262

    not good, was hoping they would invest more in infrastructure and get LTE

  • Mat

    Lol to all who believed… It’s all about money, nothing else ! WIND will all let you down.

  • http://twitter.com/arcsvibe Sam A

    Hmmm wondering if Videotron would really like to jump in and become a national carrier and not a regional one. This would be the opportunity for them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kostas.kritsilas.1 Kostas Kritsilas

    I wonder if Shaw has an interest in buying WIND? It would be a great fit to combine Shaw’s unused spectrum with WIND’s existing network. As for the deal with Rogers to sell spectrum, this is currently only an agreement, so that could easily not happen, as no money has changed hands. In addition, there will be far less scrutiny from the Government, as Shaw is also a “start up” in the cellular phone space, so it would be a lot easier than Rogers/Bell/Telus buying WIND. Above all, Shaw has the backhaul network already in place in the West, whereas WIND needs to pay Telus for carrying backhaul traffic, which should reduce some of the costs of operating the WIND network in the west. Shaw’s Wi-Fi roll out is simply a non-event, even in Calgary.

    Videotron certainly could also make this work, for most of the same reasons as Shaw, with the added advantage of having some experience with operating a cellular network. I don’t know if Videotron has any interest in opearating anything outside of Quebec though, as they didn’t even submit offers for any spectrum outside of Quebec during the last round of auctions. Geographically, it would be a great fit; Videotron has no presence outside of Quebec, and WiND has nothing inside of Quebec.

    Kostas

  • Kmb

    I rather they sell it to another US phone company than to leave it in the hands of these blood sucking claws of Canada’s selfish 3!

  • Kmb

    You get the point!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Dakunclear Joseph

    personally I don’t think it will happen, just because of them opening 3 news stores in calgary a lone in the last month if they were going to sell wind off they wouldn’t be opening new stores, that I know for sure