The knock-on effect of Irish retailer 3G mobile going into liquidation has seen distributor Sigma Telecom lay off 115 members and go into receivership.
Sigma Telecom is a creditor of and shareholder in 3G Mobile, which was placed into liquidation last week with the loss of 150 jobs after efforts to attract a new investor to the business failed.
3G Mobile attributed the demise to extremely high rents and inflexible leases during a time of adverse economic conditions. It said liquidation was “unavoidable”.
3G Mobile and Sigma Telecom chief executive Tony Boyle said: “This has had very serious consequences for Sigma Telecom, our distribution company, and the main creditor of 3G Mobile, which also guarantees a number of its leases.
“We have sought thorough discussions with our banks, potential investors and our operator partners to maintain the business, but were unable to reach a successful conclusion, and have asked Ulster Bank to appoint a receiver to Sigma Telecom.”
Irish network operator Meteor, which held exclusive sales agreements with retailer 3G Mobile and distributor Sigma Telecom, has moved quickly to appoint RCI Radius as its new distributor.
Distributor BPI Telecom has taken over the independent dealer portfolio that Sigma Telecom managed on behalf of 3 Ireland. BPI Telecom will now supply SIM free products, accessories and car kits to 3’s dealer franchises.
Receivers were in Sigma Telecom’s offices as Mobile News went to press, working to retain some parts of the business. Sources claimed the receivers were working to retain the technology arm of the business, which includes an electronics repair team of around 50 members of staff who could potentially be reinstated.
Its High Tech Service Centre currently provides a repair service for mobile radios, modems and high level electronics equipment. It also provides after-care support for Sigma Telecom resellers and fulfils Sigma Telecom’s Fonefix service, which repairs LG, Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Sagem and Samsung.
A skeleton team of around 10 employees has been kept on to maintain this section of the business in the interim.
Sigma Telecom has confirmed its parent company, Sigma Wireless Communications, is not affected and continues to trade as normal.