2degrees gets further funding

Parent company raises $11 million

2degrees' overseas shareholders have injected another US$7.5 million (NZ$11.07m) into the mobile phone firm via a share issue, as it gears up for the launch of its 3G service. Spokeswoman Bryony Hilless says the cash will be used for "continued investment in our infrastructure growth", including the development of its 3G service and the funding of continuing trading. "We are still in the early stages of our life so our funding is carried out by equity capital increases for growth and the needs of the business." United States firm Trilogy International is its majority owner. Ten million new shares were issued at US75 cents each. With just over 246m shares on issue, that implies a market worth for 2degrees of US$185m. The equity raising further dilutes Maori Hautaki Trust's stake in the firm to just under 12 per cent. 2degrees is estimated to have lost at least $50m in its March year, on revenues of $15m to $20m, despite meeting its business plan and taking about 5 per cent of prepay mobile connections. Last month, it accused rival Vodafone of "waxing lyrical" about its progress in order to play down the case for the regulation of mobile termination fees.

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