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Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA), the region's leading Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), announced that it has successfully closed a US$ 30M Pre-IPO Exchangeable Sukuk.

The Senior Secured Sukuk certificates are structured based on Shariah principles. In the event of an IPO, the certificates will transfer into an exchangeable Sukuk, maturing 2 years from the IPO date.

Arqaam Capital Limited acted as the sole Lead Arranger and Bookrunner for this Sukuk transaction.

Franklin Templeton Investments (ME) Limited and Sancta Capital Group acted as anchor investors.

Alan Gow, CEO of VMMEA, commented: "We are delighted to raise this funding to support the continued growth and expansion of the Company in the Middle East and North African markets. The telecom sector in the region remains an attractive sector and as the Company has demonstrated in its existing markets, we are uniquely positioned to leverage the MVNO model to deliver growth and financial performance in new markets."

"We are pleased to complete this transaction after carefully exploring appropriate funding routes in line with the company's preparations for a potential public markets listing," Peter Langkilde, Chairman of VMMEA commented. "The strong demand for the Sukuk certificates underscores investors' confidence in VMMEA's growth and expansion plans."

According to Rony Jawhar, Managing Director at Arqaam Capital Limited, "Arqaam Capital is always seeking innovative structures to enhance our clients' growth prospects and help them achieve an optimal capital structure. This high profile transaction is a testament to our structuring and distribution capabilities, and we are very pleased to have been able to successfully raise the proceeds for Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa amidst a volatile environment."

Sharif Eid, portfolio manager at Franklin Templeton (ME) Limited, expressed his delight at cooperating with VMMEA. "We are very pleased to partner with Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa and support its expansion plans and listing ambitions. In collaboration with our co-anchor and the arranger, we have structured a landmark transaction with risk sharing attributes that are unique in the Sukuk market. As a firm we value innovation, particularly in the Sukuk space, and are proud to be part of this positive development."

Ahmad Alanani, CEO of alternative investment firm Sancta Capital Group Ltd, commented: "Our firm is committed to delivering superior returns to its investors by lending to quality borrowers underserved by traditional financiers. Anchoring this unique pre-IPO financing has allowed us to become stakeholders in a company with compelling growth prospects, a strengthening balance sheet and a demonstrable commitment to excellence. We are proud to be in partnership with Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa and look forward to working with its executive team who have built this company into a world-class operation."

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