During the wireless spectrum auction a couple years ago Globalive (Wind Mobile parent company) invested $442 million, a portion of these funds were backed by Egyptian-based Orascom Telecom Holding SAE. Today, Orascom chairman Naguib Sawiris was in Toronto and had a few choice quotes.
In an interview with the Globe he stated that the big 3 (Rogers, Bell and TELUS) are “a joke”. Sawiris said “I have been offered by two of them to buy me out at a very significant profit. But that means I’m a broker, not an industrialist. It’s against my saga, against my history. I’m not the kind of guy who goes out for the money. It’s about success. And this, I would consider it as a bribe.”
In addition, probably the one that will get the most feedback is that Sawiris says the other new wireless entrants Mobilicity and Public Mobile will inevitably be acquired by WIND. “They will be dead on arrival. Wind should be the consolidator of all the smaller players here. We are going to be open to that. We are not interested in smaller players that are only coming with cash, or the licenses they paid cash for. We want them to succeed and have some subscribers. Because we can’t do the job alone.”
Orascom Telecom has a massive 120 million worldwide wireless subscribers. It’s now reported that Wind Mobile here in Canada has over 120,000 subscribers.