It seems the $467.5 million Virgin thought it could muster
in its IPO filing was a little optimistic -- though it still fared far
better than it thought it would a few months back
. Shares of Virgin Mobile started trading today on the New York Stock Exchange at $15 a share; multiply that by 27.5 million and you arrive at a healthy $412.5 million in proceeds. Most of the money is earmarked to repay debts and to buy back 16.7 percent of Sprint's ownership, making the relatively successful prepaid MVNO a more independent entity. No word yet on whether it can spare a few dimes to research bringing higher-tech handsets to its lineup, unfortunately (bear in mind this is the carrier that just discovered Bluetooth
a few months back).