OMERS to invest CAD50m in wireless newcomer BMV

9 Jan 2009

The Globe & Mail reports that BMV Holdings, one of the winners in Canada’s recent mobile frequency auction, has attracted one of the country’s largest pension funds as its latest investor. OMERS Private Equity will invest up to CAD50 million (USD41.9 million) in BMV, which paid CAD52.4 million for spectrum licences covering a population of around 19 million. BMV plans to launch a ‘no-frills’ pre-paid unlimited voice and text mobile service, with simplified charges, for CAD40 a month in Ontario and Quebec by the third quarter of this year. The start-up won its frequencies in the so-called ‘G-band’ relatively cheaply due to a lack of interest from other bidders, but it will require specialised wireless handsets and network equipment to utilise the band. According to the Globe & Mail, BMV is backed by several US investment firms, including M/C Venture Partners, Charles River Ventures, Rho Ventures, Ignition Partners and Columbia Capital. Columbia has experience dealing with niche spectrum and related equipment issues, and is investing in satellite-to-terrestrial communications in newly allocated frequency bands. Canadian partners of BMV include Rho Canada and Kensington Capital Partners.

Canada