SK Telecom & EarthLink $440 million Joint Venture

PGP Capital Advisors acted as exclusive financial advisor to Earthlink, Inc. in negotiating and finalizing their joint venture with SK Telecom, Inc. in establishing a new mobile virtual network operator in the U.S. called Helio. In this project, PGP played a key role in working alongside both our client and their new partner in the JV in developing a financial model for the de novo company and in addressing a number of critical sticking points in the deal, most of which were driven by cultural factors.

“While Earthlink had banking relationships with Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman Sachs and Blackstone Group, the company selected PGP because if had fairly sizable investment-banking experience and a good understanding of Korean business”, said Earthlink Chief Financial Officer Kevin Dotts. “It was a fairly unique circumstance,” he said.

”PGP helped us by providing background on how Korean corporate firms are set up, specifically with regard to our partner, SK Telecom,” said Earthlink CFO Dotts. “They also helped us understand how to interpret certain actions and reactions [in negotiations], in addition to [providing} straight investment banking technical expertise.”

-Kevin Dotts
COO of Earthlink