Virgin Mobile USA plans $100M IPO

May 2, 2007 at 7:37 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 2 (UPI) -- Prepaid cell-phone service provider Virgin Mobile USA Inc. told U.S. regulators it planned an initial public offering to raise up to $100 million.

The Warren, N.J., carrier told the Securities and Exchange Commission it intended to pay back debt and buy out part of Sprint Nextel Corp.'s interest in the company.

It applied to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VM.

Virgin Mobile, which will use Sprint's wireless network until 2027, is a joint venture of Sprint Nextel, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, and Virgin Group Ltd., controlled by British businessman Richard Branson.

The company, which targets young customers, offers per-minute and monthly prepaid services without long-term commitments.

The proposed IPO is led by Lehman Brothers, with Merrill Lynch & Co. and Banc of America Securities acting as joint book-running managers.

The number of shares to be offered and the offering price range have not been determined, Virgin Mobile said.

The company, founded in 2002, lost $36 million on revenues of $1.1 billion in 2006 after losing $102 million on $990 million in revenue the year before, its SEC filing said.

It had about 4.88 million customers.

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