Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has bought a 23.3% stake in the mobile company Truphone, valuing the business at £300m.
The investment, worth £70m, is Abramovich's first since he bought Chelsea in 2003. The company allows travellers in the UK, United States and Australia to call, text and use the web at local rates without having to switch SIM cards. Truphone also has a mobile recording service.
The company said it will use the cash to open businesses in Netherlands, Hong Kong, Poland, Germany and Spain. It will also hire 500 new staff and launch new products during the coming months.
Steve Robertson, CEO of Truphone, said: 'Our business is based on a global model, unique in mobile telecoms.” He continued, “Staying connected is crucial to the way we live our lives – and the demand for connectivity is growing. This funding round will enable us to continue to bring the promise of a mobile phone service without international borders into new markets across the world.'
Author: Graeme Neill