3/11/2008 2:12:00 PM
Data Select boss Peter Jones snaps up eXpansys stake
Data Select boss Peter Jones has snapped up a 22% stake in struggling online mobile phone retailer eXpansys for around £1m.
Jones (pictured) bought his stake on 7 March and it is understood he will increase it further to 29% before stopping short of mounting a full takeover.
Experts say the purchase is a good fit with Jones’ existing business portfolio as he already owns Data Select, a major distributor of mobile phones.
Jones’ interest in eXpansys has caused the AIM-listed company’s stock price to rise by more than 20% giving it a current market value of £5.9m.
Roger Butterworth, CEO of eXpansys, said the shares had been bought by the Dragons’ Den star personally and that Data Select and eXpansys would continue to operate at arm’s length.
He added: ‘As far as I’m aware there are no plans for a takeover in the near future.
‘It’s great having Peter on board. Investors come and go, but it’s great when we have shareholders who are knowledgeable about the industry.
‘The relationship between Data Select and eXpansys remains Ð they are a valued supplier trading at an arm’s length basis and I don’t expect that to change
any time soon.’
Some experts believe Jones’ purchase could be a reflection of toughening conditions in the distribution market questioning whether he is being forced to buy a customer to maintain his existing business.
eXpansys last week revealed that an investor had built up a 22% stake in the company through an offshore group.
According to the stock exchange statement the shares were acquired by Cenkos Securities.