20:20 Mobile’s multimillion-pound distribution deals with BT and Phones 4u are both up for grabs.
The three-year contracts, due to expire this year, are considered to be two of the largest mobile distribution contracts in the industry. The news follows reports that private equity firm Doughty Hanson is considering selling its 45% stake in 20:20 Mobile.
The BT contract is to supply the company with handsets and accessories across BT’s consumer, business, major customers and online sales channels. The three-year contract also includes pre- and post sales logistics services to BT.
Mobile understands the handset deal covers the supply of 175,000 BlackBerry, Nokia and Samsung handsets each year. Bids are due in by the end of March.
Both BT and 20:20 Mobile declined to comment.
A source close to BT said: ‘The renewal date for the contract is coming up this year and BT is therefore evaluating its options, including [continuing its partnership with] 20:20 Mobile.’ Mobile distributors expected to challenge 20:20 Mobile for the BT deal include Brightstar, Micro-P, Data Select and Brightpoint.
The Phones 4u contract, which will also run for three years, calls for a logistical partner to provide functions including warehousing and reverse logistics. The retailer’s logistics contract is expected to attract broader competition from the distribution world, with logistics giant DHL expected to launch a challenge.
A Phones 4u spokeswoman said: ‘20:20 Mobile has provided a high quality of service and flexibility to Phones 4u throughout our partnership with them, and continues to be our current logistics provider.’
20:20 Mobile is seen as a strong contender for both deals as the long-term mobile distribution partner for both companies. The company has been BT’s mobile distribution partner for the past six years, winning two successive contracts. It has also been delivering Phones 4u’s logistics service since the retailer’s launch.