New York, NY, August 25, 2008 (LAWFUEL) – Baker & McKenzie has advised SK Telecom, the top wireless communications provider in Korea, in connection with the combination of its majority owned U.S. venture Helio LLC with Virgin Mobile USA LP, the operating subsidiary of Virgin Mobile USA, Inc. (NYSE: VM). The combination was completed on August 22, 2008.
Virgin Mobile USA, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) specializing in prepaid cellular services, acquired 100% of Helio, an MVNO offering post-paid wireless service and high-end handsets, in exchange for the issuance to SKT and Helio’s minority members, EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELNK) and Helio, Inc., of limited partnership units and shares equivalent to 13 million shares of Virgin Mobile USA Class A common stock. In connection with the transaction, SKT has invested $25 million in Class A Convertible Preferred Stock of Virgin Mobile USA (together with Virgin Group for an aggregate $50 million investment in Virgin Mobile USA) and is providing $35 million in subordinated debt financing to Virgin Mobile USA. As a result of the transaction, SKT will own approximately 17% of Virgin Mobile USA.
The team at Baker & McKenzie was led by corporate Partners Philip von Mehren in New York and Won Lee in Hong Kong.
“We are very pleased to represent SK Telecom in this strategic combination,” said Philip von Mehren. “The transaction is of significant importance to our client and demonstrates SK Telecom’s continued interest in the U.S. market.”