7/7/2010 10:48:00 AM
eXpansys guns for online share
Phones International chairman Peter Jones is planning an online assault on major retailers by reshuffling his telecoms businesses.
Sim card business Data Select Network Solutions (DSNS) and PJ Media have been sold for £38m to eXpansys, an AIM listed company in which Jones has a 75% stake. Jones has a stake in all three of the businesses, but his share in eXpansys will fall to 43% after the deal goes through.
The acquisitions represent the first phase in a strategic change for the online retailer as it looks to build on network relationships through DSNS, accessing wider markets and expanding its product offering.
It will see eXpansys move from a specialist mobile phone retailer to a broader and more far-reaching retailer now selling airtime in its first big steps to becoming a major online player.
DSNS was created in May this year after being hived off from Data Select’s hardware distribution business.
The separation of the business had fuelled speculation that Jones was preparing to dispose of Data Select, but this was strongly denied by the company’s CEO, George McPherson.
The latest acquisitions have thrown Data Select’s future into doubt once again. One source said: ‘The other piece of the business [Data Select] is going down. The Sim card part is the profitable part and he has made a smart move with eXpansys.’
eXpansys has scored a number of exclusives this year, including the distribution of Motorola’s Milestone before it hit UK retail stores.
Peter Jones told Mobile: ‘Today’s announcements are all about unlocking the potential for key businesses within my overall portfolio. With eXpansys, we expect to create over time a real powerhouse, in terms of its investment potential and its ability to serve consumer technology products to customers around the world.
‘With Data Select, which remains privately owned by me as the sole shareholder, we have a great opportunity to build on its industry leading position as an award-winning and successful distribution business, possibly through further investment. I am excited at what lies ahead.’