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Overview

M/C Partners was the lead investor in MetroPCS, the first provider of unlimited wireless communications service for a flat rate for customers with no signed contract.  By targeting the cost-conscious, high-volume minute users with an offering created specifically for their needs, MetroPCS was able to carve out a space for itself in the competitive universe of wireless carriers.  With an initial investment of $350 million, MetroPCS built out its first 4 markets and went on to establish a presence in 14 of the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the country.

How we added value

  • Providing Growth Capital.  When M/C Partners made its first investment in 2000, MetroPCS was preparing to exit bankruptcy and the company required funding to execute its network build and growth strategy.  M/C Partners was the lead investor and helped form a syndicate of investors to invest sufficient capital for the company to build out the markets where it owned spectrum. The company raised $350 million and was able to fund its initial market buildouts of Miami, Atlanta, San Francisco and Sacramento.
  • Recruited Management Team.  As a lead investor, M/C Partners was instrumental in helping founder Roger Linquist recruit a high caliber management team that was well prepared to go after the identified underserved portion of the market.
  • Conviction to Back a New Business  Model.  M/C was aligned with the founder's vision to build an operator with a new and differentiated strategy.  That strategy – offering unlimited service at flat rate pricing for customers with no signed contract – was an untested business model in the wireless industry at that time.  M/C was able to draw on its experience in the communications industry to build conviction that there existed a promising opportunity in the identified niche.
  • Strategic Guidance.  From 2000 until November 2007, M/C Partners was an active member of the Board of Directors and was deeply engaged in the development and oversight of the company’s strategic plans and growth initiatives.

Outcome

From the launch date in March 2002, MetroPCS went on to become the fastest growing wireless company in the industry’s history. By 2007 the company had over 3.5 million subscribers and in April 2007 the company completed its initial public offering, valuing the business at $8 billion.