International MVNO Lebara is up for sale, Mobile can exclusively reveal.
The company has appointed RBS to explore ‘future strategic opportunities’ that could span a number of options, including a sale, listing or strategic partnership.
RBS has also sent out a document to interested parties, offering them the opportunity to acquire Lebara. The document contains details of Lebara’s success including financial figures.
It comes after well placed sources' claims that Lebara was approached last September by two Asian operators interested in buying the MVNO.
One industry source recently told Mobile: ‘The word is Lebara is up for sale. It was in talks with two Asian operators. They ran the rule over it - nothing came of it but it is understood Lebara is still open to offers.’
Another source said: ‘In the UK the ethnic MVNO market is hugely competitive, with margins being driven down all the while, but Lebara does have a spread that has attracted the interest of overseas operators.’
Another added: ‘Lebara has been trying to add value to the UK business by adding a postpaid proposition as it cannot compete solely on price in the UK.’
Lebara recently reported ‘massive’ growth for the year ending 2010 with a revenue increase of over 50% to £500m in the same period.
A Lebara spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that Lebara has appointed RBS to explore future strategic opportunities for the company, which reflect our continuing success as one of Europe’s leading telecoms operators for migrant communities.
‘This follows Lebara’s unparalleled financial performance over the past two fiscal years, in which we achieved four-fold growth, and recognition of our industry-leading customer service.’