20:20 completes refinancing deal


20:20 Mobile Group confirmed today (Friday, June 4) it has completed its financial restructuring, taking a eqity investment from its backer Doughty Hanson and a significant reduction in its bank debt.

The refinancing will see the banking syndicate that put up the debt for Doughty Hanson’s original purchase of 20:20 write down the net debt in 20:20 Mobile to £92 million and receive a 45 per cent equity stake in the business. Doughty Hano has inject £15 million capital ito 20:20. A £30 million credit facility has also been restored to the distributor.

The new shareholder structure sees the banking syndicate, led by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), take 45 per cent of the business as well, and  20:20’s management take the remaining 10 per cent.

A new 20:20 board will comprise two representatives each from Doughty Hanson, the banking consortium and management. 20:20 Mobile chief executive Meinie Oldersma and finance chief Nick Smith will be the management board members.

20:20 said the restructuring is a good platform for growth, as it looks to capitalise on its leading position in the UK, Irish, Swedish and Spanish markets, and expand into new territories.  

Oldersma said: "This successful outcome is a mark of confidence from our investors in the new management team’s resolve and ability to reboot this company and move us forward into an exciting new future. The new financial structure will enable us to develop the long-term strategic alliances with customers and suppliers that will see us deliver genuine value-added services."

He added: "20:20 is still the biggest player in the UK, Irish, Swedish and Spanish markets and we believe that developing a fresh approach, streamlining our business, and evolving our offering will enable us to focus on our ambition of becoming a truly global player and expanding into emerging markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
"As our sector matures we need to recognise that the role of distributors is changing. Customers are demanding more from us and we need to meet and exceed their expectations in order to succeed in the future."