20:20 Mobile is looking to merge its 20:20 handset and Dextra Airtime and accessories subsidiaries next year.
The amalgamation of the two businesses is currently being reviewed by CEO Meinie Oldersma, and will be decided after a long-awaited meeting between 20:20, private equity owner Doughty Hanson and its banking syndicate in two weeks’ time.
Doughty Hanson is expected to pour an additional £50m into its investment in 20:20, with the money contributing to clearing the debt or strengthening the business.
Some members of the debt syndicate will be pushing for the syndicate to take control, of 20:20 after repeated failed profit and turnover targets, However, the majority remain convinced that 20:20 has the greatest chance of improving its value through a period of stability and under Oldersma’s stewardship.
The merger between 20:20 and Dextra has been championed by several customers and suppliers (as well as some employees) who want a one-stop shop rather than dealing with two separate businesses.
‘Part of our long-term vision is a streamlined approach to addressing the channels. We want to be more focused for our customers. It definitely needs looking at,’ said Oldersma.
A group MD is expected to be put in place of the integrated organisation as part of a potential restructure next year.
Oldersma stressed he would look at the potential risks of a merger before implementing it, as some customers may prefer two specialist organisations.
The company merged administrative functions such as finance, HR, customer care and credit control six months ago; however, it has left purchasing, sales and marketing as separate divisions with separate senior management teams.
It is known that a merger between the 20:20 and Dextra distribution divisions was being pushed when John Caudwell owned the businesses.