Tech Data buys out Brightstar Europe for £106.4m


Purchase ends five-year joint venture, with Brightstar Corporation focusing on expansion in Europe through organic and acquisitive growth

IT distributor Tech Data has today (July 11) acquired Brightstar Europe Limited (BEL) for around £106.4 million – ending their five year joint venture.

The two firms set up a joint venture in 2007 to create a pan-European organisation designed to capitalize on the evolving mobile and wireless device market in Europe.

Brightstar Corporation will now focus on growing its European business and geographic footprint through organic growth and strategic acquisitions as fully-owned subsidiary.

Brightstar Corporation operates in more than 56 markets globally and customises, distributes and ships around 100 million mobile devices each year.

It recently recorded its best annual financial performance in its 15 year history , which saw revenue increasing 24 per cent from approximately $4.6 billion in 2010 to approximately $5.7 billion in 2011.

It is the second major acquisition announcement this week after Brightstar’s wireless device distribution rival BrightPoint announced it will be sold to IT distributor Ingram Micro.

Brightstar chairman and CEO Marcelo Claure (pictured) said “Brightstar Corporation has reached an agreement to sell its 50 per cent ownership interest in Brightstar Europe Limited to Tech Data Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement, Tech Data will pay Brightstar approximately $165.6 million in cash.

“Brightstar will use the proceeds from the transaction for investment, expansion, and general corporate purposes. As a result of this transaction, Brightstar Corporation’s book value will increase by approximately US$92 million to approximately US$675 million on a pro-forma basis as of March 31, 2012.

“Tech Data has been a great partner, and in just five years, we have jointly grown Brightstar Europe Limited from a startup to a leader in the European mobility distribution industry.”

As part of the agreement, BEL’s handset protection and insurance and buy-back and trade-in customers will be transferred to, and serviced, by Brightstar.

The agreement also provides the opportunity for certain employees at BEL to join Brightstar’s European operations in order to continue servicing the handset protection and insurance and buy-back and trade-in customers.