3/18/2008 10:05:00 AM
Brightpoint buys into UK distribution
American distributor, Brightpoint, was closing in on the acquisition of Hugh Symons Telecom (HST) as Mobile went to press, in a deal that would bring the world’s second biggest distributor to the UK.
The terms of the deal are understood to have been agreed last week after discussions between HST chief Hugh Roper and Brightpoint’s president for Europe, Steen Pederson.
Brightpoint is now clearing the transaction with shareholders and lawyers.
An announcement is expected to be made after the bank holiday weekend pending any last minute glitches.
Roper would not comment on the acquisition but said he was staying in the business for at least three years.
Brightpoint, not to be confused with rival Brightstar, withdrew from the UK around nine years ago after a failed attempt to make a success in a market dominated by 20:20.
It has been eying potential acquisition targets since, and is understood to have previously considered purchasing Fone Logistics or Data Select.
Like HST, Brightpoint has built a model based on serving the b2b area and IT-related products.
Hugh Symons Telecom, not to be confused with the Carphone-owned Hugh Symons Communication business, has seen sales grow 60% from the previous year, catering for the smartphone market with Microsoft products, datacards and secured a supply contract with HTC 18 months ago.
Brightpoint already has a global distribution deal with HTC, and is looking to extend its reach of smartphones in Europe.
Brightpoint, based in Indiana, merged with Danish firm Dangaard in February last year to take on the world’s biggest mobile distributor, Miami-based Brightstar.
Brightpoint CEO Bob Laikin told Mobile last year: ‘We are interested in expanding into the UK market. Before we merged with Dangaard, we were looking at more than five companies in the UK market and so was Dangaard.’
Brightpoint merged with Dangaard by handing over £150m in shares to the Dangaard owners, creating a global distribution powerhouse with combined revenue of around £2.3bn in 2006.
Brightpoint’s appetite for growth in the UK, combined with the inroads Brightstar is making with its deal with Tech Data threatens to upset the established UK distribution giants.
Both companies declined to make an official comment.