Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa’s planned expansion has been boosted by a $50 million investment from the Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC).
The financial institution has invested in the Dubai-based company, which is said to be the leading MVNO in the region, with operations in Oman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
Virgin founder Richard Branson said the company plans to create “a large regional mobile telecom player reaching more than 10 million customers”, adding that the investment is “an important show of support by an important institutional investor for our ambitious plans”.
GIC will become a major shareholder in VMMEA, while its head of technology and telecom investments Mohamed Eissa and VP for technology and telecom investments Fahad Al-Nusef will join its board.
“We believe that the next phase of liberalisation in the telecom sector supports the growth of MVNOs and we are thrilled to make this strategic investment in VMMEA,” said Eissa.
Established in 1983, the GIC promotes the role of the private sector and supports economic development in the six countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council.