Merger and stock market listing rumours surround Canadian cellular newcomers Wind Mobile and Mobilicity in the press this week. According to sources quoted by Bloomberg, Wind is ‘in talks’ to purchase fellow Toronto-based cellco Mobilicity, although the Globe & Mail reported that Mobilicity was also looking at an initial public offering (IPO) in early 2012, potentially to raise funds for an acquisition of its own. Wind CEO Anthony Lacavera told IT World Canada that he expects his company to consolidate its operations with one of its peers – not one of the big national operators Bell, Rogers or Telus – in 2012, either via a takeover or merger, but was not specific. The Canadian Press quotes Lacavera as saying: ‘Certainly, the promotional activity that’s happening now is not sustainable… I have no comment on Mobilicity specifically… We continue to work toward new entrant consolidation and we believe we will be the lead consolidator. There’s room for one new national carrier. Wind is logically positioned as that new national carrier.’ Mobilicity CEO Stewart Lyons refused to comment on the rumours.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Globalive Wireless (Wind Mobile) is owned by Canada’s Globalive Communications, 65% equity in which is held by Egypt-based Orascom Telecom, itself part of Russian telecoms group Vimpelcom via a merger agreement finalised in April 2011. DAVE Wireless (Mobilicity) is owned by the investment arm of Toronto’s John Bitove, Obelysk (with a minority of equity but a majority voting share) and another telecoms/media investor, Quadrangle Capital Partners of New York (majority equity, minority voting share).