Former Telefonica’s CEO Juan Villalonga enters board of Virgin Mobile LatAm

Virgin Mobile Latin America VMLA, a portfolio company of ePlanet Capital, closed April with a round of extra finance of $26.5 million in new equity financing, the company announced in its latest public communication. The funds will go toward developing regional businesses and launch services in Chile. Investors include the Virgin Group and ePlanet Capital, CANEPA, Souter Investments and Hermes Growth Partners, headed by former Telefonica’s CEO Juan Villalonga.

VMLA is a telecommunications operator established a little over a year ago to offer new products and services to over 450 million consumers across Latin America under the Virgin brand. In addition to the recent launch of Virgin Mobile Chile, VMLA has targeted the launch of operations in seven further markets, including Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. VMLA said it would specifically target the youth market segment, Virgin Mobile’s natural audience.

The new funding for VMLA also consists of equity from existing shareholders, including the Virgin Group and ePlanet Capital. But among the new investors, Juan Villalonga, former CEO of Telefonica S.A. and co-founder of Hermes Growth Partners has been the first to join the VMLA board of directors with immediate effect.

Commenting on the new funding, Phil Wallace, chairman of VMLA, said that

“Virgin Mobile Latin America is just beginning its expansion across the region. We are making rapid progress… The new funding from this very distinguished group of investors supports VMLA’s vision of establishing a multi-market regional footprint”.

Souter Investments is the private investment vehicle of Brian Souter, founder of Stagecoach Group. This significant new funding has been seen as a vote of confidence from international investors in the future growth outlook of the region’s mobile telecommunications sector.

Asad Jamal, Founder and Chairman of ePlanet commented,

“In a relatively short time the company has penetrated several markets and is poised to become the number one mobile virtual network operator in the region.”

About the Author

Victor Jimenez
London contributor at, reporting about the City and the Eurozone economies. He regularly writes for Spanish newspaper group Prensa Ibérica--some of his features include shared work with journalists of The Daily Telegraph and the BBC.

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