|November 20, 2000|
Virgin Mobile (Asia) Deal Completes
|Singapore Telecommunications Limited and Virgin Management Limited today announced that the two companies have signed all necessary agreements to launch Virgin Mobile (Asia) Pte Ltd. It is intended that the new business will trade in all regional markets under the Virgin Mobile brand name. The two companies are also delighted to announce the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer for Virgin Mobile (Asia) Pte Ltd , Mr. Ross Cormack.|
The first tranche of funding for Virgin Mobile (Asia) Pte Ltd is US$100 million, coming equally from both parties, and representing equal shareholding. SingTel will provide up to a further US$450 million in funding in the form of a Convertible Loan to be used for regional expansion under a jointly agreed business plan.
Ross Cormack joins the company from an extensive telecommunications background, predominantly as the senior regional Cable & Wireless executive most recently responsible for Hong Kong's premier mobile operator, CWHKT Mobile Services, and previously overseeing the management of their Asian mobile businesses.
"I'm very much looking forward to building a team at Virgin Mobile who can address this unique market opportunity -- expanding the world's first global Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)", says Ross.
Sir Richard Branson comments: "Buying a mobile phone in today's marketplace is a very complicated process, with hundreds of packages designed to confuse and exploit the consumer. Ross's excellent knowledge of the market and his competitive drive will help Virgin Mobile to bring simplicity, clarity, and the best possible deal for the consumer into the Singapore marketplace, as it has done in both the UK and Australia already."
Lee Hsien Yang, SingTel's President and CEO, expressed his enthusiasm for the investment. "SingTel is excited by the opportunities and potential for Virgin Mobile. We are delighted to be a partner of Virgin to bring innovative communications and services to customers in the region. SingTel seeks to expand through investments in a number of areas. Cellular is one of them. Virgin Mobile's network will complement our other investments in the region. It will enhance SingTel's regional footprint and position it as a leading communications player in the Asia Pacific," he said.
The joint venture company is expected to launch in Singapore in mid-2001, to be followed by further launches in Asia, including Hong Kong and Taiwan. In Singapore, the company will replicate its model in the UK by functioning as a virtual operator, buying cellular airtime from SingTel on a wholesale basis. It will manage its own marketing, billing, customer care and tariff, and deliver mobile commerce applications, which will include Virgin's exciting range of consumer products and services, over a simple mobile interface.