Melita Mobile, Malta (2008) (www.melita.com) – In 2006, Optima Wireless was approached by a large private equity group to investigate the opportunity to launch a stand alone mobile operator in partnership with local shareholders. The research project lasted three months culminating in a research presentation with a business plan.
Throughout the project several entry strategies were tested, however the opportunity that was identified that eventually was accepted related to the sale of Melita Cable PLC. Optima Wireless via its banking contacts, presented the opportunity to the private equity firm which then led to a consortium combining the existing cable company with the 3G license holder.
After the consortium was formed, Optima Wireless was approached by the new shareholders to build a GSM/UMTS mobile network. The new network was to be completely integrated with the existing CATV, VOIP telephony and broadband internet offerings and leveraging the current existing assets to minimise the peak funding, maximise returns and provide a distinct competitive advantage to ensure a successful business.
The delivered network is one of the first fully integrated facilities based quad-plays in the world utilising existing fixed cable infrastructure and serves as an example of Optima Wireless’ leading role in fixed and mobile convergence to deliver low-cost solutions and high investment returns in a very competitive environment. Optima Wireless raised debt funding with the support of EKN, the Swedish Export Credit Guarantee Board, for the capital expenditures related to the building of Melita’s mobile network. The total project financing is expected to be more than €40 million over two years.