Distributor 20:20 Mobile has met with key partners to assure them it will be ‘business as usual’ as its sale to Brightstar Corporation moves close to completion, sources say.
Sources say the deal, estimated to be worth £200m, will go ahead ‘within weeks.’ Talks are at an advanced stage with heads of terms, confirming the intention of both parties to go ahead with the sale, already signed, Mobile understands.
One source said: ‘20:20 Mobile
have met with two or three of their biggest partners to talk about the sale and how it will affect them. They are talking like it’s a done deal. They want to reassure them it will not impact on business.
The sale was originally expected to be completed by early January. However, sources said the need for the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to ensure compliance on the sale of 20:20 Mobile’s FSA-regulated insurance services company slowed the process.
One source close to the deal said: ‘The need for the FSA to run the rule over that part of the deal has delayed it a little but, short of the unforeseen, the sale will go ahead within weeks.
20:20 Mobile declined to comment on the matter
Once signed, the takeover will see US distributor Brightstar Corporation advance its march into Europe. The company sold its 50% share of Brightstar Europe to joint venture partner Tech Data for £102m in September last year.
It has made no secret of its interest in buying a UK distributor, following its split from Tech Data, as part of its European acquisition drive.
Buying 20:20 Mobile will give Brightstar much greater reach in Europe. 20:20 Mobile’s European markets include Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Poland and Portugal, as well as the UK.
20:20 Mobile Group was bought by private equity firm Doughty Hanson from Phones 4u founder John Caudwell in 2006 for nearly £350m. The company, which is based in Crewe, employs more than 1,200 people in 14 countries, including Hong Kong, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.
Author: Carol Millett