Public Mobile CEO says new backers position wireless carrier to shoot for No. 4

TORONTO – The CEO and founder of Public Mobile says the regional wireless company now has the financial backing necessary to compete with Rogers, Bell and Telus and become Canada’s No. 4 national carrier.

Chief executive Alex Krstajic wouldn’t say how much money will be available from Toronto’s Thomvest Seed Capital Inc. — which has links to Canada’s wealthiest family — and Cartesian Capital of New York.

But Krstajic said he would like to his small regional wireless company to buy struggling Mobilicity as well as Wind Mobile and believes the odds are in his favour due to financial backing from the two private equity firms.

Thomvest is the investment arm of Peter Thomson, who is a co-chairman of Woodbridge Co. Ltd., the Thomson family investment company which also has controlling stakes in Thomson Reuters and The Globe and Mail.

Public Mobile announced the new backing just days after Ottawa blocked the sale of Mobilicity’s spectrum to Telus Corp. (TSX:T) and said it wants to ensure there are at least four wireless carriers in each region of Canada.