20:20 Mobile could be floated on the stock exchange as private equity firm Doughty Hanson reviews its stake in the company.
The firm owns a 45% stake in the company and is understood to be keeping its options open about its holding. A source told Mobile: 'There are a number of exit strategies which include a flotation, a trade sale, a management buyout, or sale to a venture capitalist.’
A Doughty Hanson source said the review was at an early stage but the decision was unrelated to 20:20 Mobile's loss of the Nokia contract last year. He said: 'These reviews are undertaken periodically. There wasn’t any one trigger for the review. Doughty Hanson has owned the company since 2006. Private equity companies tend to hold their portfolio companies for between four and seven years, so this is the right time for a review.’
Brightstar, Brightpoint and Micro-P have been identified as possible frontrunners if a takeover was to take place. The remainder of 20:20 Mobile is owned by a consortium of around 35 banks, which holds a 45% stake, and a group of 20:20 Mobile directors including Meinie Oldersma and James Browning, which owns the remaining 10%.
20:20 Mobile was created when Doughty Hanson bought the handset distribution and logistics business from the Caudwell Group for £347m in 2006. After a financial restructuring in 2008, a consortium of banks was given a 45% stake in the company.