Fongo Inc., one of the fastest growing mobile telecom companies in Canada, has officially announced that it is going to make a bid to acquire WIND Mobile, confirming rumours that the Toronto-based wireless carrier is up for sale. According to the press release, Fongo’s offer submitted to WIND Mobile proposes a $1 purchase price and a 49% equity ownership stake in Fongo. The company also plans to retain the majority of WIND Mobile’s employees, but has “pledged to re-think many aspects of the business”.
As part of the proposed acquisition, Fongo plans to extend the WIND Mobile’s network coverage across the country, while the existing WIND Mobile customers would be transitioned to Fongo over the course of 1 year. Dave Bullock, president of Fongo said that the company has figured out how to make mobile calling not only free, but profitable. He added that the idea of paying $8 a month for voicemail, or being forced to buy airtime minutes is “outdated”, and it only exists because ‘that’s the way it’s always been done’.”
“WIND Mobile has done a fantastic job of signing up some of the most forward thinking mobile consumers in the country and has taught Canadians that there can be alternatives to traditional wireless service,” said Jody Schnarr, CEO of Fongo Inc. “By combining WIND’s wireless assets with Fongo’s proven ability to deliver innovative mobile solutions, Canadians will have true choice and a service that is radically different from anything else out there.”
Fongo currently has over 250,000 Canadians using its free mobile phone service, backed by venture capital funding from the Government of Canada. With Fongo, users get a free phone number, unlimited free messaging and unlimited free calling across the country through free iOS and Android apps, regardless of their wireless carrier. It will be interesting to see if Fongo can succeed in acquiring WIND Mobile, with U.S. telecom giants already eyeing the acquisition for stepping in to the Canadian wireless market. Although the proposal would most likely be turned down, it does help Fongo gain some clever coverage in the media.
Update: We contacted WIND Mobile regarding this proposal but their public relations representative, Alexandra Maxwell, said the company has no comment at this time.