The remaining VimpelCom-owned stake of WIND Mobile is set to be purchased by current Chairman and Globalive CEO, Anthony Lacavera, and a consortium of investors led by West Face Capital and Tennenbaum Capital Partners.
The deal is reportedly worth $300 million CAD, and would see Globalive retake control of the company, with Lacavera leading operations.
VimpelCom, which purchased WIND Mobile Canada’s original foreign partner, Orascom back in 2011, currently owns a majority share of the enterprise, but has been looking to sell it after the Canadian government refused to allow its purchase of the remaining assets, which led to a decision not to provide upfront capital for the 700Mhz auction earlier this year.
Globalive, with Orascom’s help, initially invested $442 million into the 2008 AWS spectrum auction, which helped launch a bevy of new entrants, including now-defunct Public Mobile, on-the-rocks Mobilicity, and thriving regional providers, Videotron and Eastlink.
It’s unclear how much money Canadian hedge fund West Face and California-based Tennenbaum Capital are set to be investing. According to The Globe and Mail, Lacavera currently owns two-thirds of WIND’s private voting shares, and controls one-third of the company’s financial assets.
Earlier this year, VimpelCom wrote down the value of its Canadian WIND Mobile brand, “mainly relating to the challenges the Company is facing in the country, which resulted in the strategic decision to withdraw from the 700 MHz spectrum auction and the reassessment of the prospects for continuing operations in the country.”
With the ownership deal in place, WIND is primed to raise the capital necessary to bid in the upcoming AWS-3 auction early next year, spectrum is so badly needs to launch a nationwide LTE network to augment its current 3G offerings.