MVNO services under the Friendi brand are due to be launched shortly in Malaysia, although Friendi is in the process of merging its operations with Virgin which will lead to a regional offering branded “Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa”, according to reports. Meanwhile the Malaysian entity has attracted a late investor in the form of Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd (KPS), which is paying M$24m for a 30% stake in Ceres Telecom Sdn Bhd. Ceres obtained a network services provider (NSP) individual licence on February 8 from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission as well as an application service provider class licence, and requested a number range in order to operate and provide services as a MVNO in the country. Ceres Telecom and the Friendi mobile brand are owned by Moobility Telecom International Holding Ltd (the Friendi Group). Ceres Telecom has signed an agreement with an unnamed GSM operator to use its network for MVNO services under the Friendi brand. Friendi offers services in Oman, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The main shareholders of the Friendi Group, which was set up in 2006, are Virgin Group, ePlanet Capital, Dolphin Telecom, Millennium Private Equity, NTEC as well as its founding investors and management.