Virgin Mobile Middle East raises $30m in pre-IPO sukuk

Mobile virtual network operator says funds will be used to support its expansion in the region
By Sam Bridge
Sat 12 May 2018 10:00 AM

Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA), the mobile virtual network operator, has announced that it has successfully closed a $30 million pre-IPO exchangeable sukuk.

The senior secured sukuk certificates are structured based on Shariah principles. In the event of an IPO, the certificates will transfer into an exchangeable sukuk, maturing 2 years from the IPO date, the Dubai-based company said in a statement.

It added that the funding will be used to support its expansion in the region.

Alan Gow, CEO of VMMEA, said: “We are delighted to raise this funding to support the continued growth and expansion of the Company in the Middle East and North African markets. The telecom sector in the region remains an attractive sector and as the company has demonstrated in its existing markets, we are uniquely positioned to leverage the MVNO model to deliver growth and financial performance in new markets."

Peter Langkilde, chairman of VMMEA added: “We are pleased to complete this transaction after carefully exploring appropriate funding routes in line with the company’s preparations for a potential public markets listing. The strong demand for the sukuk certificates underscores investors’ confidence in VMMEA’s growth and expansion plans.” 

Arqaam Capital Limited acted as the sole lead arranger and bookrunner while Franklin Templeton Investments (ME) Limited and Sancta Capital Group acted as anchor investors.

Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa has been in the region since 2007, and operates the two consumer brands of Virgin Mobile and FRiENDi Mobile.

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