Leading dealers Go Mobile and Intek, ranked fifth and sixth among independents in the UK in terms of retail outlets, are set to merge, Mobile News understands.
Go Mobile chief executive Iain Humphrey (pictured) has taken a majority share in Intek’s retail operation, comprising 24 stores in the South West. Intek’s owners, including its managing director Manny Hussain, are to retain a significant stake also, and will retain full control of the Intek online and business sales operations.
Go Mobile, which has 50 retail outlets in the Midlands and a roll-out plan in place for Northern Ireland, will see its expanding chain reach 74 stores at once with the deal, including a half dozen Orange franchise outlets.
It leapfrogs Welsh retail chain Get Connected into fourth in the UK pecking order of independent retail, behind Carphone Warehouse (800 outlets), Phones 4U (450 stores) and JAG (76 stores).
Get Connected has also been growing steadily in 2009, with 70 stores now opened. JAG, which reneged on a deal to purchase the Go Mobile chain last year as performance failed to meet expectations, is currently transferring most of its original store portfolio to an ambitious franchise programme.
The JAG signage is above the door of around 76 outlets in the South West, almost all franchises.
Go Mobile managing director Nil Naik will oversee the running of the expanded Go Mobile operation.
Intek boss Hussain has switched the dealer brand’s focus to online and business sales in the past 18 months as retail has become tough.
Neither party was available for comment at writing.