McFarnon resigns from Advantage


Advantage managing director John McFarnon (pictured) and operations director David Whittaker have resigned from the distributor amid a visit from the company’s Polish backers this week.

The future of airtime and kit distributor Advantage Cellular is in the balance. A delegation from billionaire Polish owner Roman Karkosik, led by Centernet executive Piotr Sobis, descended on Advantage’s Didcot headquarters to sort out a major contractual dispute with founder Simon Earle and rule whether to place it in administration.

Earle left the business late last year, but remains a director and a 30 per cent shareholder in Advantage parent Xebra. He was unavailable for comment. Asked to clarify Earle’s position, Sobis replied: “You’ll have to ask Simon Earle that question.”

He said: “We are taking professional advice with regards the financial and legal situation. No decision has yet been made on the future of Advantage. We will decide by Friday.”

At press, staff had not yet returned to work, having been dismissed on March 12. Karkosik has frozen Advantage’s bank accounts, preventing it from buying or selling stock.

Advantage, 3’s biggest airtime reseller, connects around 4,000 3 customers per month. Rival distributors were eyeing up its 3 base last week. Its nascent Hyundai Mobile distribution business was in doubt. Hyundai Mobile has grown frustrated with a lack of activity around retail contracts.

Advantage has been supporting redundant satellite offices in London and Preston since its Extreme MVNO was run down and its direct selling operation was shut with Earle’s departure.