Dextra has decided to off-load its airtime business to focus on new CEO Meinie Oldersma’s five-year plan, which didn’t include the UK airtime market.
Oldersma presented his plan to the 20:20 Mobile debt syndicate and senior management in the organisation last month.
The plan includes focusing on other markets, including overseas expansion and even acquisitions in the UK as well as abroad.
A senior source within the business said: ‘‘We want to focus on other areas. There are a host of other opportunities which present bigger rewards. Airtime is not something we need to be strategically in.’
Fone Logistics had been in close contact with James Browning for several months.
The source said Dextra airtime was a profitable, but low cost business. Critics have said recently that 20:20 needs to ‘get back to basic’, and focus on fewer but better strategies.
20:20 Mobile is looking to make the most of its recently-won contract with RIM to distribute BlackBerry devices around Europe. It is not known whether having an airtime business was a help or a hindrance to this strategy.
Dextra recently lost the talismanic head of the airtime business, sales director, Angie Simpson, who left to join O2 two weeks ago.
Dextra posted a profit of £150,000 for October 2007, well below the £900,000 per month it achieved between October 2006 and June 2007.
A series of cashback collapses last year badly hit the distributor’s airtime business.
Despite this, several operators believed Dextra was turning a corner, and could be back stronger in the latter part of the year.
The airtime business was previously called ‘4u Airtime’ when owned by John Caudwell, and was closely associated to the Singlepoint service provision business sold to Vodafone in August 2003 for £405m.
The Dextra airtime business (then called 4u) was previously T-Mobile and Vodafone’s biggest airtime distributor, and second at Orange and O2 around three years ago.