Shebang acquired by Personal Group for £1.3m

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Daventry based MVNO was in administration but now becomes part of Personal Group’s mobile division

Shebang Technologies has been acquired by insurance firm Personal Group for £1.3 million and will be integrated in to its newly developed mobile arm.

Shebang had been in administration since 2012 but will now be integrated in to Personal Group’s newly formed mobile arm, Personal Group Mobile Limited (PGM).

The Three MVNO successfully fended off a winding up order in February 2013 following a turbulent 2012 in which it made headlines for significant staff departures and moved to a smaller office in Daventry.

Shebang will give PGM access to its 10,000 connection base which will be integrated with its subsidiary Let’s Connect, which provides PCs and tablets.

Mark Scanlon, CEO of Personal Group, said: “The Board is delighted to announce this bolt-on acquisition which represents a swift and effective way to enter the phone and airtime provisioning market with a fully functioning and operational business.

“We view mobile phones and airtime as a utility and a necessity where we can offer real savings for our customers. We welcome shebang and its staff to Personal Group and look forward to building the business with them.”

PGM will provide devices and airtime using Shebang’s MVNO through its salary sacrifice scheme, where members of staff sacrifice or give up part of their salary in order to receive tax or National Insurance savings.

The firm said this will give around a 32-47 per cent reduction in cost to standard retail prices which will include 24 month contracts and offers on devices from Apple, Samsung and other leading manufacturers.

Personal Group said it expects further costs of up to £1 million as it integrates Shebang’s 40 members of staff at its office in Daventry.

At it’s height in 2010, Shebang had a turnover of £59 million and profits topping £800,000 and staff numbering 240. By 2012, this had fallen to 32 members of staff, with Mobile News sources suggesting the company owed more than £1 million in unpaid VAT when it went out of business.

Alongside its MVNO, Shebang had an accessories distribution arm, a consumer solutions division which was liquidated and it also owned Go Mobile’s 100 store retail footprint, which it sold to A1 Comms in July 2012.

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