WIND Mobile is a Canadian wireless telecommunications company operated and co-owned by Globalive Wireless Management Corporation, based in Toronto. Although WIND Mobile has been in service since 2009, there was strong government and consumer interest in establishing it as Canada’s fourth national carrier, to increase competition in the mobile telecommunications market.
Globalive originally shared ownership of WIND Mobile with Egypt-based Orascom Telecom, which subsequently sold its stake to Russia-based VimpelCom in 2011. By 2014, VimpelCom was interested in withdrawing entirely from the Canadian market. To prevent WIND Mobile from foreclosing or being sold to one of the existing national carriers, a consortium of investors—including Globalive Capital, Tennenbaum Capital Partners, West Face Capital, LG Capital Investors, Serruya Private Equity, and Novus Wireless Communications—came together to purchase VimpelCom’s share of the company.
Q Advisors was brought in to manage the transaction and represent the buyer consortium in the transaction, which was structured so that Globalive Capital first bought out VimpelCom’s interest and then applied to transfer ownership of its spectrum licenses to the consortium. This structure was designed to minimize and expedite regulatory hurdles required for the transfer of spectrum licenses while also releasing VimpelCom from all of its shareholder and debt obligations. To that end, Q Advisors also facilitated a third-party loan of approximately $150 million to refinance the existing senior debt. Throughout the process, Q Advisors provided continuity and leadership on all aspects of the deal, including structuring, diligence, capital markets, and M&A advisory services.
“The transaction is a positive development for WIND Mobile and Canadian consumers, including WIND Mobile's 750,000 customers,” says Anthony Lacavera, Globalive’s chairman and CEO. "With stable, long-term ownership and secure financing, WIND Mobile is moving into an exciting new phase." The Canadian government was supportive of the transaction and acted quickly to approve it. Canadian Minister of Industry James Moore publicly stated, “In making my determination, I concluded that this acquisition will contribute to a more robust and competitive wireless industry in Canada.” As a result of the transaction, WIND Mobile has now established itself as the fourth national wireless carrier in Canada.