Update: Brightstar completes acquisition of 20:20 Mobile


Company officially rebranded as Brightstar 20:20 with Brightstar Corp taking complete control of Crewe based distributor

Brightstar has completed the acquisition of 20:20 Mobile for an undisclosed fee. The business has officially been rebranded as Brightstar 20:20.

The acquisition sees the number of countries Brightstar operates in increase from around 38 today – following the JV sale – to more than 50. It serves more than 200 operators and 50,000 retailers, and has a local presence in more than 50 countries, including the UK and Spain.

20:20’s European markets include Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Portugal as well as the UK. 20:20 Mobile currently serves over 3,500 customers with annual turnover of nearly £1 billion.

Brightstar Corp CEO and founder Marcelo Claure (pictured) said: “I want to thank the Brightstar and 20:20 Mobile teams who worked tirelessly to bring this deal to fruition, as well as 20:20 Mobile customers, who have been supportive of the new endeavor.”

Brightstar 20:20 is being led by a management team that includes:

  • German Lopez, currently managing director of 20:20 Mobile in Spain and Portugal, will lead the organisation as president, Europe. During his tenure with 20:20, Lopez grew subsidiaries in Spain and Portugal from £15 million when he joined the company in 2007 to record revenues of over £270 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013.
  • Jim Michel will serve as managing director of Brightstar 20:20 UK. Prior to joining Brightstar 20:20, he served as managing director of Tech Data Mobile in the UK between October 2011 and July 2013 and previously held senior management positions at Motorola and LG.
  • Fredrik Rudberg will continue serving the Nordics as managing director of Brightstar 20:20 Mobile Nordics. He has held that role since February 2009. In the past four years, he expanded the company’s business in Finland and the Baltics. He has 15 years of experience in the telecom business, including senior roles at Telia Sonera and Nokia Scandinavia.

Confirmation of the deal came more than a year after Claure confirmed his interest in 20:20 Mobile in an exclusive interview with Mobile News. He said re-establishing Brightstar’s presence in the UK was his number one priority.

Brightstar had been linked with a number of UK firms after selling its 50 per cent share of Brightstar Europe to joint venture partner Tech Data – now Tech Data Mobile – for $165 million in September.

The previous month private equity firm Doughty Hansen had refused to comment on speculation it was on the verge of selling its 45 per cent stake in 20:20 Mobile Group to Brightstar.

In November 2012, distribution sources revealed that Brightstar’s acquisition of 20:20 Mobile had moved a step closer with a fee of around £150 million said to have been agreed.

The deal failed to materialise, however, and in March last year Claure told Mobile News in an exclusive interview from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that contrary to reports, the deal had not been completed and that discussions were ongoing.