Vodafone buys MVNO partner

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Vodafone buys MVNO partner

Picks up over 130,000 customers.

Vodafone will take over the local operations of its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) partner Lebara Mobile and its 130,000 customers, for an undisclosed acquisition fee.

Lebara Mobile has been a Vodafone MVNO since 2009 when it brought its operations to Australia.

Its parent Lebara Group, headquartered in the UK, was founded in 2001 and counts 1000 employees and 5 million active customers across its operations in eight countries, all of which are located within Europe with the exception of Australia.

The business is geared towards helping migrants keep in touch with family and friends in other countries.

The acquisition means Vodafone will run the Lebara mobile business in Australia. Vodafone declined to provide a value for the deal.

“Lebara Mobile has built up a strong brand presence and loyal customer base in Australia, and we see opportunities to grow the business further,” Vodafone chief strategy officer Dan Lloyd said in a statement.

“With the corporate resources of VHA behind it, we expect the Lebara Mobile brand to become an even stronger force in the Australian mobile market."

Vodafone said it would be business as usual for Lebara Mobile customers, who already use the Vodafone 4G network, and the company's employees.

The telco will continue to sell Lebara Mobile products through existing retail partners including Coles, Woolworths and convenience stores.

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