Private equity firms buy Public Mobile

TORONTO – Two private-equity firms have acquired Public Mobile — one of the small wireless carriers that emerged after the 2008 wireless spectrum auction — and say they’re ready to play in the evolving market.

The deal was announced just days after Ottawa blocked the sale of Mobilicity to Telus Corp.

Industry Minister Christian Paradis said the federal government is committed to fostering competition in the Canadian wireless communication industry.

The government’s move has fuelled speculation that some of Mobilicity’s smaller competitors would be in better position to growth through acquisitions.

Public Mobile provided few details in its announcement but said, Thomvest Seed Capital Inc. of Toronto and Cartesian Capital of New York, have committed to put the company into a “cash flow positive” position.

The carrier’s founder and CEO, Alek Krstajic, said their support will enable Public Mobile to expand its subscriber base from a well-funded position.