Public Mobile announced today that they’ve been acquired by Toronto-based Thomvest Seed Capital and New York-based private equity firm Cartesian Capital.
Public Mobile invested $52 million during the 2008 wireless and gained the once unwanted G Band spectrum between from Windsor to Quebec City. The carrier defied the odds and launched their wireless service in Toronto and Montreal, giving “value conscious Canadian consumers” unlimited low-cost talk, text and data plans. Over the years they’ve attracted various financing deals from ZTE Corporation, the Export-Import Bank of China, plus were backed by OMERS with a $50 million investment.
The terms of the Thomvest Seed Capital and Cartesian Capital deal were not disclosed, but the press release stated that both companies have “invested the first tranche of a commitment to fully fund Public Mobile to a cash flow positive position, and Thomvest became the company’s controlling shareholder.”
In addition, and probably most important for Public Mobile’s future, is that they’ve declared their participation in the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction in January. This will help them expand their reach, plus position them for future growth and offer a better device selection.
Finally, could Public make a bid for Mobilicity? This line in the presser might be a hint: “In the coming months, the Canadian wireless industry will see consolidation, and an important spectrum auction. Public Mobile is well-positioned to grow in scale by pursuing these consolidation opportunities…”
Public is a private and they’re not obliged to release or announce their subscriber numbers, but at last count they were well above the 200,000 subscriber mark.