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Roman Abramovich Takes 23.3 Percent Stake in Truphone for £70 Million

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Russian billionaire and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is paying £70 million for a 23.3 percent stake in telecoms group Truphone which values the business at £300 million according to a report from The Guardian.

Chairman of mining and metal group Evraz and Abramovich’s principal business partner, Alexander Abramov, will have his stake in the company dropped to 60 percent from 80 percent. The funding will be used to employ 500 extra staff over the next 18 months, and expand the Truphone service to the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Germany, Spain and Poland, a venture that has long been in the works for the UK carrier.

“Our business is based on a global model, unique in mobile telecoms,” Steve Robertson, Chief Executive of Truphone, said in an official press release from the company, which we’ve posted below. “Staying connected is crucial to the way we live our lives – and the demand for connectivity is growing. This funding round will enable us to continue to bring the promise of a mobile phone service without international borders into new markets across the world.”

It will be interesting to see where this new round of investment will lead.

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ROMAN ABRAMOVICH ACQUIRES 23.3% STAKE IN TRUPHONE

LONDON, 1st February 2013: Truphone, the pioneering international mobile communications company, today revealed that it has secured £75m in its latest round of funding from investors including Roman Abramovich. Mr. Abramovich’s investment vehicle, Minden, has acquired a 23.3% stake for £70m, valuing the company at £300m.

Truphone’s service currently works in 220 countries and is available as a local service in the UK, USA and Australia. Truphone will use this financing round to open businesses in the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Poland, Germany and Spain this year. It is already in discussion with potential partners to add additional countries. This significant international expansion will more than double the size of Truphone’s potential market over the next twelve months and represents the next stage in its ambitious global growth plans.

This investment will allow Truphone to employ around 500 additional colleagues over the next 18 months, with a large number of these roles based in the UK, and to continue investing in innovation with significant product launches in the coming months.

Truphone is a British company, built on the inventions of CTO and founder James Tagg. Its multiple number technology underpins a simple, innovative service. With a single device and SIM card, customers can enjoy a local number in all Truphone countries. This allows them to access voice, data and SMS services at local rates. Importantly, it also means their friends, family and business contacts can keep in touch with them wherever they are in the world by simply making a local call, thus eliminating high international charges.

Truphone’s service has an additional capability – mobile recording – for those customers wishing to seamlessly record and store their mobile communications in a secure way for regulatory purposes. In 2012, Truphone surprised the market by winning major contracts with FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies in the banking, technology and energy sectors that are seeing ever increasing roaming voice and data costs.