WIND Mobile is up for sale. Mobilicity is currently in talks with TELUS for a possible acquisition. Public Mobile is also looking to exit and is seeking a buyer. The newer wireless players in Canada are certainly in a period of uncertainty and transition.
For years Tony Lacavera, WIND Mobile’s Chairman & CEO, has declared that “there’s room for one new national carrier.” This seems to be more true now than ever. WIND Mobile is leading the new entrant race with over 600,000 subscribers. Unfortunately Mobilicity and Public Mobile are private companies and their true subscriber numbers are not known.
Apart from a partnership between Naguib Sawiris’ Accelero Capital and Lacavera’s AAL Corp., Rogers and Telus are rumoured to be interested in picking up WIND Mobile. Now, another twist to this ongoing wireless is from Toronto-based Catalyst Capital Group. This private equity investment firm manages a portfolio of over $3 billion, owns a portion of Mobilicity’s outstanding bonds, and looks to be gunning for WIND Mobile. Apparently they specialize “in buying distressed assets such as debt” and the Globe and Mail is reporting that they have dreams of merging both WIND Mobile and Mobilicity, essentially creating a larger 4th national carrier. Newton Glassman, Managing Partner of The Catalyst Capital Group, is leading the charge, but declined to comment on his plans.
Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, recently said that his strategy is to “build a more competitive wireless sector – one that delivers for Canadian families by providing more choices and more access at better prices.”