Public Mobile, Inc. (PMI), now part of Telus Corporation, is a prepaid wireless telephone service provider based in Toronto, Ontario. The company offers customizable prepaid service plans that provide customers a great deal of flexibility through its weekly, monthly, and semi-annual phone card products, which also include various tiers of add-on text and data services.
PMI was seeking to enhance its capital structure. Various telecom equipment vendors offered attractive financing solutions through their respective export credit agencies, and the company was hoping to take advantage of one of these opportunities. As a new entrant to the wireless market in 2010, PMI required a financing solution that provided considerable operational flexibility during its critical build-out phase.
Q Advisors evaluated multiple proposals from the equipment vendors including Huawei and ZTE (China), Ericsson (Sweden), and Nortel (Canada). It also assisted in developing numerous alternative business plans and financial forecasts, given the disparate requirements of various vendors/lenders. Then the firm structured the initial bridge financing from ZTE, allowing PMI significant flexibility despite delays from Chinese governmental organizations. Q Advisors led the structuring, due diligence, and negotiation of all aspects of this complex, cross-border financing project.
“Q Advisors played an instrumental role in structuring, negotiating, and closing this critical transaction for us,” says Public Mobile CEO Alek Krstajic. “The team’s deep experience in cross-border transactions was crucial as they provided invaluable advice throughout the long, and often challenging, process. Given the complexities of this transaction, getting to the finish line proved to be much more difficult than originally imagined. The Q team never wavered and stood beside us every step of the way, including finding interim financing solutions. They exceeded our expectations and put a permanent financing in place that will give us a competitive advantage for years to come.”
Q Advisors subsequently advised Public Mobile on its sale to Telus in December 2013.