Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa secures funding and business licence to operate in Kuwait

Virgin Mobile set to launch services in Q4 2021

  
Virgin Mobile Middle East Africa secures funding and business licence to operate in Kuwait
  • Wafra, Impulse and Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa provide debt and equity funding of $20m
  • Virgin Mobile set to launch services in Q4 2021 

Kuwait: Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa, the region’s leading mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), today announced its intention to launch in Kuwait, following the successful application for a business licence via an exclusive strategic partnership with Kuwait Telecommunications Company (stc) to enable its operations, and securing substantial debt and equity funding for the expansion.

Fourth service provider set to launch in Kuwait

The company will launch its fully digital app-based proposition in the State of Kuwait under the Virgin Mobile brand, designed to serve Kuwait’s young, digitally adept consumers and provide more choice for consumers. It will become the fourth service provider alongside the three local mobile operators and will run operations via the stc Kuwait network. All of the new operations’ IT and app technology will be based on Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa’s proven digital operator platform.

Erik Dudman Nielsen, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa, commented: “We are thrilled to be launching in Kuwait. Our presence, following other successful launches in the GCC, is part of our ongoing commitment to always provide more choices for consumers as well as to push the boundaries of traditional telco with our innovative, digital propositions. We believe Virgin Mobile’s launch in Kuwait will usher in a new era in connectivity and customer-led service never seen before.”

Partnered with Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa, stc Kuwait will act as a Host Facilities Based Provider with Virgin Mobile Kuwait to provide world-class innovative digital services to customers in the State of Kuwait.

First-ever MVNO investment in Kuwait

Funding for the expansion into Kuwait has been provided by Wafra International Investment Company, Impulse International for Telecommunications and Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa.

Wafra International Investment Company CEO, Ghazi Al Hajeri, stated, “Debt funding of $13 million has been provided by Wafra to allow expansion of the Virgin brand into the Kuwait market. This is the first investment of its kind, established to set up a virtual telecommunications network, he added. The investment in Virgin Mobile Kuwait positions Wafra on the company’s Board of Directors, Al Hajeri explained.

“Wafra’s new strategy aims at attracting investments that are development in nature, while seizing unique investment opportunities through enabling companies to offer the best digital and technological services,” Al Hajeri added. “We are very proud of our partnership with a prominent global entity such as Virgin Mobile,” he concluded. 

“Wafra is constantly looking for ways to enable companies and help them create value by providing the best possible solutions. We are proud to partner with a strong global brand such as Virgin Mobile that will ultimately contribute to Kuwait’s digital infrastructure, economic growth and increase local employment opportunities.”

The remainder of the funding is supplied as equity funding, with Impulse International leading the equity transaction.

Izzat Abou-Amarah, CEO at Impulse International for Telecommunications, commented: “Impulse led the equity term sheet of $7 million for the Kuwait entity, which is a milestone for the telecom sector in Kuwait, as this is the first MVNO to enter the market. This fits perfectly with our strategy of introducing differentiated services through technology transfer. Impulse will be represented on the Board of Directors of the company.”

He continued, “This deal will allow Virgin Mobile Kuwait to provide the best technological services in its field, transferring technology and knowledge in the telecom sector while providing a more digital platform which reflects the global trend of service providers, while also providing new job opportunities.”

“Impulse was established with the purpose of investing in the ICT sector, as well as becoming an operational entity to help drive Kuwait’s Vision 2035. The investment in Virgin Mobile is a key step towards realizing that vision,” Abou-Amarah concluded.

Currently operating across GCC markets including Saudi Arabia, Oman and providing advisory services to Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC) in the UAE, Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa has been catering to the continuously growing number of mobile users offering world-class products and services since 2007, serving 3 million customers across the region.

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