Likes a Virgin: Optus increases VMA stake to 100%

Optus has acquired Virgin Mobile Australia (VMA) from Virgin Group for $30 million in cash, increasing its shareholding in VMA to 100 per cent.

A spokesperson for Optus said it will be business as usual for Optus and VMA customers, partners and staff, at least for the next few months, while management work out how to integrate the companies.

The spokesperson could not confirm or deny whether jobs would be axed down the track, as a result of the acquisition.

The deal gives Optus 74.15 percent equity interest in VMA and includes the buy-out of a debt worth $3 million, that VMA owed to Virgin Group. The arrangement means Optus has a 15 year licence for the ongoing use of the VMA brand in Australia.

Optus Managing Director for wholesale Warren Hardy said in a press statement that Virgin Mobile had a unique position in the mobile market and consumers identified with the passionate and fun approach the company had.

"This acquisition cements VMA's future and creates significant opportunities in marketing an expanded product range to consumers," he said.

VMA's Managing Director Jonathon Marchbank said in the same press statement that the acquisition was a great outcome for VMA.

Hardy and Marchbank were both unavailable to comment further.

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