Virgin Mobile Acquires Helio

June 27th, 2008 at 12:00 am

virgin helio

Virgin Mobile has acquired Helio for $39 Million in stock.  Helio is a cell phone carrier in the US that’s not had the best run.  The goal of Helio was to bring high end  high tech South Korean mobile phones to the US market.  However, American technophiles were not that impressed nor compelled to hop on the carrier.  They had 170,000 subscribers.

SK Telecom, a South Korean carrier and the major stock holder in Helio agreed to the Virgin Mobile USA’s purchase of Helio for $39 million in stock.  Moreover, SK Telecom and Virgin Group will each invest $25 million in Virgin Mobile consequently making SK Telecom owner of 17% of Virgin Mobile.

The Helio brand will be consumed by Virgin Mobile while all of Helio’s stores will be closing down except for their flagship in New York which will be rebranded into Virgin Mobile.  

This acquisition gives Virgin Mobile complete access to Helio technologies including their nice high tech phones, customers and pretty much everything. Virgin Mobile and Helio plan to reach greater scales with the merger and compete with the other wireless heavyweights,  AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, and T-Mobile USA.

Dan Schulman, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Mobile USA, said, "We believe that the acquisition of Helio and the related strategic investments by SK Telecom and Virgin Group are of enormous benefit to our business, both financially and strategically. The reduction of our long-term debt and the increase to our revolver will realign our capital structure, providing us with greater liquidity and increased flexibility to grow our business."

View the complete press Release here .