Brightstar’s £150m acquisition of 20:20 Mobile edges nearer


Price said to have been agreed with 45 per cent shareholder Doughty Hanson

Brightstar’s proposed acquisition of handset distributor 20:20 Mobile Group moved a step closer this month with a fee of around £150 million said to have been agreed, Mobile News understands.

According to sources in distribution, Brightstar has now completed due diligence on the firm, while a price has now been agreed in principle with shareholders and investment firm Doughty Hanson, which owns 45 per cent of the firm.

Mobile News can confirm Brightstar founder and CEO Marcelo Claure met 20:20 Mobile Group CEO Meinie Oldersma at the company’s head office in Crewe last month to discuss the business and potential plans going forward.

Both firms are now said to be in a “quiet period” as their respective legal teams attempt to iron out the final details of the deal.

Doughty Hanson has been seeking opportunities to offload 20:20 Mobile following a financial review earlier this year. It acquired the firm from Caudwell Group in 2006 for £347 million.

Claure recently told Mobile News re-establishing Brightstar within Europe was his number one priority, having sold his 50 per cent share in Brightstar Europe to Tech Data Mobile for £102 million in September.

He admitted 20:20 Mobile was one of a number of distribution firms he was interested in acquiring – given its European reach – and hinted an offer had been made. Claure said he expected to make announcements by the end of the month.

Neither 20:20 Mobile or Brightstar would comment on the story as Mobile News went to press.