Sanabil inks deal to invest in Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia

Saudi investment firm says it has acquired minority stake in mobile virtual network operator
Sanabil inks deal to invest in Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson
By Staff writer
Fri 10 Jul 2015 02:07 AM

The Saudi Arabian Investment Company, also known as Sanabil Investments, has signed a deal to make invest in Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia.

Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa, the regional mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), said the investment was made in return for a substantial minority stake in its Saudi unit, without disclosing the value.

Ibrahim Alromaih, CEO of Sanabil Investments, said: “Sanabil Investments actively looks for profitable sustainable opportunities that support the growth of the kingdom’s economy while transferring expertise and knowhow to Saudi Arabia.

"We are excited about our direct investment in Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia. They have shown substantial growth since their launch, and have used their first mover advantage to pioneer the development of an innovative MVNO business model in Saudi Arabia."

Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa was the first MVNO to market in Saudi Arabia in Q4 2014 following the decision by the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) to offer licences to MVNOs.

Sanabil Investments, wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, was established to contribute to the strength of Saudi Arabia’s economy by pursuing diversified and attractive local and international investment opportunities and by establishing itself as a leading global investment company, a statement said.

Mikkel Vinter, CEO and founder of Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa, said: “We believe that the opening of the market to MVNOs in Saudi Arabia will significantly broaden consumer choice, and further accelerate the introduction of MVNOs across the region.

"We are honoured by the investment by Sanabil Investments. Sanabil Investments is an excellent partner for Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia, and we hope to rapidly grow and prosper with such an esteemed partner supporting our vision and goals."

Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa said it has ambitious plans to further strengthen its position in the region by launching in more countries.

It is targeting a regional customer base of over 10 million subscribers within 5 years with Saudi Arabia forecast to be the biggest market.

Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa is headquartered in Dubai Internet City.

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