Well, it finally happened. Less than two months after Virgin Mobile USA made its move to purchase Helio, the acquisition is now official. Virgin Mobile USA paid $39 million in stock for the nascent MVNO, and as part of the purchase, Virgin Group and SK Telecom will each invest $25 million in the combined company, as we reported back then. It'll be interesting to see how the two companies mesh their brands--Virgin Mobile is known for its cheap prepaid phones, while Helio is almost the exact opposite, known mostly for its high-end monthly subscription devices.
Certainly, there's a big chance that the two will complement each other. Both are youth-oriented, but for different segments of the market, and it makes sense to bring both under the same umbrella. That said, I wonder if the Helio side of things will continue to offer innovative and full-feature handsets like the popular Helio Ocean, or if the combined company will end up with a midtier compromise. Whatever happens, it'll be interesting to see what the future holds for both Virgin and Helio.