Wind Mobile’s owners looking at broader picture

by Andrew Roach on May 16, 2013

Independent carriers have had a tough time of it in recent months especially Wind Mobile who has struggled to make much headway against their larger rivals and found themselves put up for sale by their owner.

Whilst Wind’s parent company VimpelCom is awaiting approval to take full control of the provider, the company has stated that they haven’t come to any final decision about what direction they will take once everything is finalised.

The statement comes as the Dutch firms decides whether to use their Egyptian wing Orascom to try and place the firm into a position that will allow them to harbour full control of Wind.

Despite the uncertainties, Wind still managed to post some good news as they announced a rise in customers during Q1 of 2013.

There is still a lot of debate surrounding what direction VimpelCom are going to take should their takeover of Wind be approved by industry regulators.

The move has been in the works for several months now and despite the rules of foreign owners being relaxed significantly last year, nothing has yet been finalised.

With reports stating that VimpelCom’s subsidiary Orascom is planning to make an attempt to buy former owner Anthony Lacavera’s shares in the company, it means that there is some interest in order to stabilise Wind’s future.

This was solidified by comments made by VimpelCom Jo Olav Lunder who stated that they were looking at several options to keep Wind Mobile in the wireless industry. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, he said that “when we have it, we will conclude whether we do an organic growth play or whether we merge with some of the regional players or whether we simply dispose [of] the asset. And we keep our options open in Canada.”

Whilst VimpelCom’s mind is yet to be decided, the firm would have been pleased to see that Wind are still performing well in the industry following a growth in subscribers since the start of the year.

Over the first quarter, Wind Mobile added 11,281 subscribers taking their customer base over the 600,000 mark for the first time.

The news shows that Wind does still have potential to grow in the market and it will be certainly interest rival bidders such as Rogers and equity firm Catalyst Capital.

No matter who is interested in buying Wind, the world will need to wait and see what VimpelCom decides to do with the firm before their future can be settled once and for all.

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