Orascom Telecom and today announced that it will buy WIND Mobile CEO Anthony Lacavera’s stake in the company in a move that will also see Lacavera step down as CEO. Pending approvals, Lacavera’s holding AAL Corporation will transfer its indirect 66.7% voting share in Globalive Wireless Management Corp., operating in Canada as WIND Mobile, to Orascom. When the dust settles, Orascom will have an “indirect 99.3% interest in Globalive Wireless Management Corp,” making it Canada’s first fully foreign-owned carrier.
“As an entrepreneur, my vision was to ignite change across the wireless landscape in Canada, bringing more competition, better prices and superior service to Canadians,” said Mr. Lacavera. “And that is exactly what we did. Now that I am confident WIND Mobile Canada is on a course for long-term success, I can focus on launching Globalive Capital to make targeted investments in companies that share my entrepreneurial vision and continue to support innovation through new and emerging entrepreneurs.”
Lacavera founded WIND Mobile in 2008. The carrier went live in late 2009. Its early days were marked by a number of lawsuits and accusations that it did not meet foreign ownership rules. It has weathered all the challenges and has established itself as the country’s fourth largest network with over 600,000 subscribers. Lacavera will now turn his attention to a new initiative, Globalive Capital, and will become WIND Mobile’s Honorary Chair when the deal closes.
It remains to be seen which direction WIND Mobile will go in under its new leadership. Former Orascom Telecom chairman Naguib Sawiris once said that he regretted ever getting involved in Canada. And VimpelCom, Orascom’s parent company, is also said to be “less enthusiastic about its Canadian assets.”
Are more shakeups in the Canadian telecom sector coming in 2013?