Dubai: Beyond ONE has acquired Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa (VMMEA), the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) with operations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait. The latter operates under the Virgin Mobile and Friendi Mobile brands.
Beyond ONE is a recently formed subsidiary of Priora Management Holding Dubai. The deal is the first for Beyond ONE, a company focussed on technology, media and telecommunications investments. Priora Management Holding Dubai is owned by Swiss businessman Remo Stoffel, and Beyond ONE Group CEO Markus Tagger.
Virgin Mobile MEA, founded in 2006, was one of the early movers into virtual mobile networks in the region.
It has more than 3 million users and operates a ‘profitable, industry-leading digital communication platform for both its Virgin Mobile and Friendi Mobile operations’. The deal sees Virgin Group invest alongside Beyond ONE, retaining a minority stake in the company and a seat on the board.
“We are looking at the acquisition of companies with a strong position and significant growth potential in their respective markets – VMMEA’s operations comfortably meet these requirements,” said Tagger. “Both Virgin Mobile and Friendi Mobile benefit from strong brand equity and significant trust from their customers, partners and employees, and we will do what is in our power to maintain this.
“With a focus on expansion, Beyond ONE will, over time, introduce new services, experiences and technology that will simplify and benefit our customers’ lives.”
Post-deal, VMMEA will be led by a 'seasoned' Beyond ONE executive team alongside many of the existing team in each market.
"The acquisition signals confidence in the continued growth potential of the TMT-sector in the region and reiterates latest insights on global M&A activity for the sector," said a statement.
Virgin Group is a long-standing investor in the company and is looking forward to the partnership with Beyond ONE as it heralds a new digital future for the region. Beyond ONE’s investment is testament to the opportunity which lies ahead in bringing better mobile connectivity to consumers and businesses