The Canadian government yesterday approved the previously announced sale of Globalive Wireless (Wind Mobile) to an investor group that includes the company’s chairman, after deciding that the transaction will bolster competition in the cellular market, the Wall Street Journal reports. Federal approval came with conditions including a pledge by Wind Mobile’s new ownership to significantly invest in new spectrum and expansion of network infrastructure across Canada. It was announced in September that Canada’s fourth-largest cellular operator by subscribers was being sold by Russian-backed Vimpelcom’s Egypt-based subsidiary Global Telecom Holding (GTH) to Toronto-based Globalive Capital, controlled by Wind’s chairman Anthony Lacavera, with the transaction partly financed by an investor group led by Canadian hedge fund West Face Capital, going under the consortium name AAL Acquisitions Corp. Other members of the US/Canadian buying consortium are Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LG Capital Investors, Serruya Private Equity and Novus Wireless Communications. Including debt, the value of the deal was reported as roughly CAD300 million (USD264 million), while Vimpelcom/GTH announced the majority equity stake was bought for approximately CAD135 million. The telecoms ministry Industry Canada has also approved the required spectrum licence transfer. Additionally, Anthony Lacavera has stepped down as CEO of Wind Mobile, but remains as chairman, while Pietro Cordova is promoted to the CEO post.
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