Joint venture agreement after smartphone maker enters administration
STK will sell and market Wileyfox devices after the pair agreed a joint venture agreement.
Wileyfox ceased trading in February after its main financial benefactor, Russian bank Promsvyazbank (PSB), collapsed and was bailed out by the Central Bank of Russia. Around 50 staff were let go in its European operations.
STK group CEO Jay Pau told staff in an email seen by Mobile News: “We saw this recent news as an
opportunity to not only grow our business and increase our consumer reach, but to also do the right thing for the existing Wileyfox consumer.
“Both companies are pleased with the agreement as it means the sales and marketing of the brand in Europe may continue to live on. I am therefore pleased to announce that STK and Wileyfox have signed a joint venture licensing agreement stipulating that all future Wileyfox sales in Europe will be made by STK, with after-sales and service to be resumed as soon as possible.”
STK global commercial director Henri Salameh declined to comment. Mobile News approached Wileyfox CEO Michael Coombes for further information. Wileyfox’s appointed administrator, Andrew Andronikou, was unable to comment.
Speaking to Mobile News last month Coombes said generation three smartphones will still see a launch this year, including B2B smartphone, the Wileyfox Pro. It features the Windows Phone operating system and a large screen. Follow ups to the Swift 2 and Swift 2X were slated for this year.
Coombes exclusively told Mobile News last month Wileyfox would restructure and continue operating.
“PSB collapsing in December was a surprise, we’ve been forced into this until we can x it. We’re going to close a couple of the business units of Wileyfox Europe which managed sales and moving it to Wileyfox International.
“The plan is to and a solution. We’re looking at our option to restructure the business and continue operating.
Wileyfox was formed in 2015 with channel veteran and Wileyfox co-founder Nick Muir and then chief marketing of officer Victoria Denman, leading the charge.
Both left the manufacturer in March last year after a “misalignment in direction” with other founders.
Wileyfox shipped 600,000 smartphones at the end of 2016 and was targeting two million in shipments by the end of 2017.
London-based STK, formed in 1993 as a tier one distributor before manufacturing its own products from 1999. It launched mid-range smartphone the X2 at MWC.