Helio - Wireless Turkeys 2008

Why is it a turkey?

The MVNO launched by SK Telecom and Earthlink did not have a pretty year. In January, its founding CEO, Sky Dayton, resigned. Then, at the end of February Helio reported that it had lost $327 million in 2007. 

In June, after talks between SK Telecom and Virgin Mobile USA seemed to stall, it was reported that Helio would be closing some retail locations and kiosks. A few days later Virgin Mobile confirmed that it would acquire Helio for $39 million. As part of the deal, the Virgin Group and SK Telecom agreed to invest $25 million each of equity capital in the post-merger Virgin Mobile USA. But the damage had been done. All but one of Helio's retail stores were closed by mid-August. The deal was completed at the end of August. 

SK Telecom reported a 57 percent drop in third quarter profit following the Helio sale, and noted a quarter-on-quarter loss because of the deal. Virgin Mobile USA gained from the deal though, and posted better-than-expected third quarter profits.

Helio - Wireless Turkeys 2008