BLME arranges $15m Islamic finance facility for virgin mobile MEA
BLME, Europe’s largest Islamic bank, announced that it has concluded a $15m senior secured facility for Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA), the regional MVNO group rolling out Virgin Mobile across the Middle East & Africa region.
VMMEA will use the facility to fuel the company’s growth in the GCC region and further cement its position as a leading Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). The cross-border agreement covers operations across a number of jurisdictions, including Oman, Jordan, KSA, Malaysia and South Africa, with future roll-outs planned in a number of other countries in the Middle East and Africa.
Massoud Janekeh, Head of Islamic Capital Markets of BLME, commented, “The telecommunications sector is witnessing significant growth in the Middle East, as a result of increased infrastructure investment and development, particularly in the Gulf states. This is increasingly being supplemented by the emergence of MVNO offerings, which VMMEA has pioneered. BLME’s involvement in this transaction highlights the continuous need for Islamic financing products as well as our capability to execute transactions across a number of jurisdictions.”
Waleed Al Omar, Head of Investor Relations, added, “Through transactions such as this, BLME is consolidating its position as a bridge between the UK and the MENA region. BLME already has strong links to the region with its largest Shareholders being Boubyan Bank, Public Institute for Social Security in Kuwait and AREF.”
Mikkel Vinter, CEO of VMMEA, commented, “I am pleased to have BLME as a new financier for VMMEA, and am delighted by the successful funding under our Murabaha agreement. We continue to develop our business and invest in growth opportunities and the funding from BLME is an enabler for future accelerated growth. We are pleased that the approval of the facility follows an exhaustive legal and financial due diligence by BLME and the successful conclusion of the facility is a sign of trust in the current VMMEA operations and future plans.”
The documentation of the facility from BLME has been finalised, with the closing and initial drawdown having been successfully concluded.
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