Virgin Mobile to Buy Helio

Virgin Mobile USA has announced it will be buying Helio, a struggling cell phone carrier that was founded to bring the advanced features of South Korean phones to the U.S. market, for $39 million in stock. At the same time, British billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Group and SK Telecom, the South Korean carrier that is the majority owner of Helio, will each invest $25 million in Virgin Mobile, giving SK Telecom a 17 percent stake in Virgin Mobile.

Although Virgin Mobile has no contracts or data plans, the company has indicated that it will keep operating Helio's services as before the purchase. Both Virgin Mobile and Helio use Sprint Nextel's network, which makes the integration of the two businesses possible.

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