JAG’s buyout of Go Mobile collapses


Southwest retail chain JAG Communications has pulled the plug on the purchase of the Go Mobile retail chain after the two companies were unable to agree a price.

Whilst the details of the sale had been finalised, JAG managing director John George and Go Mobile managing director Iain Humphrey were unable to agree a price, with JAG considering Go Mobile to be less than what it was willing to accept.

Go Mobile now takes back the stores JAG purchased from it. It was unclear at the time of going to press whether the stores will continue to trade under the JAG name or be re-branded as Go Mobile.

The operations will now be split up again but Shebang’s eight-year contract to supply JAG with handsets and accessories remains intact. JAG also uses Shebang’s Sellfone 3G EPOS system, which has been integrated with Orange’s back-office systems, for stock replenishment and sales tracking.

Last November JAG bought all 53 Go Mobile outlets to take its store count up to 140, with that number expected to rise to 150 by the start of January 2008.

By that time, it was planned that all Go Mobile signage would switch to JAG branding, with the retailer taking on about 140 Go Mobile employees, comprising all store staff and area managers.

The initial agreement saw Humphrey concentrate fully on the Shebang distribution business, the Sellfone EPOS system and new retail ventures.

George said that hundreds of thousands of pounds had been spent on attempting to getting the venture up and running but said that hopes of resurrecting the deal in the future had not totally died.

"We simply couldn’t agree a price. Iain had an idea of how much he thought the Go Mobile business was worth and I valued it at less," he said. "It came to the point where we had to make a decision over what we had to do so unfortunately we had to pull out of negotiations.

"I am very sorry to have to walk away from this opportunity. I have enjoyed working with the Go Mobile staff and all the team at our head office have invested so much effort to make it a success, so walking away is very deflating to say the least.

"However, it would be good to go down that road again so I’m not ruling out the possibility of restarting negotiations."

Go Mobile was unavailable for comment.


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