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MPE invests in FRiENDi mobile

Dubai, September 15, 2008

Millenium Private Equity said it has made its first Telecom, Media, and Technology (TMT) fund investment since the fund's close earlier this year by buying a stake in FRiENDi mobile.

FRiENDi mobile is the leading Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in the South Asia, Middle East & Africa (Samea) region. MPE is the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) regulated subsidiary of Millennium Finance Corporation (MFC), the leading international investment bank based in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

MPE's transaction also represents the second high profile investment in FRiENDi mobile in 2008, following an investment by Forbes top 10 venture capital firm ePlanet Ventures announced in March.

"We're very pleased to welcome Millennium Private Equity on board as a strategic investor with a significant minority stake,” said Mikkel Vinter, CEO of FRiENDi mobile.

"FRiENDi mobile's vision is to become the leading network-independent telecom service provider in the Samea region, and it speaks volumes that MPE, ePlanet Ventures and other international and regional investors have faith in this vision and believe in FRiENDi mobile’s business strategy."

Izzet Güney, senior executive officer of MPE and fund manager of its TMT Fund will join FRiENDi mobile's board of directors which consist of senior executives representing global IT & Telecom investors as well as Arab institutional investors.  "We are thrilled to join such an illustrious group of investors and back such a strong management team. We fully support the belief that the Samea region is ready for an MVNO and look forward to FRiENDi mobile’s success," said Güney.

Global venture capital leader ePlanet Ventures led a round of investor funding for FRiENDi mobile earlier in the year.

The venture capital firm has funded over 80 innovative high-growth companies world-wide, including landmark deals such as Baidu, (presently circa $12 billion market capitalisation); Skype (sold to eBay for approximately $3 billion in 2005); and Focus Media (presently circa $6 billion market capitalisation).

"With the addition of MPE as an investor, FRiENDi mobile now has a uniquely experienced and complementary global investor base,” said Vinter.

“We are very proud of the progress achieved by FRiENDi mobile across the region to date, and following the planned commercial launches later this year, we look forward to further accelerate the pan-regional development of the company with the assistance of our new shareholder MPE." - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: DIFC | DFSA | MVNO | MFC | Friendi | MPE | ePlanet Ventures | Mikkel Vinter |

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