AO acquires Mobile Phones Direct for £32.5 million

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AO, COO, Danny Emmett (left) and CEO, Steve Caunce (right)

The acquisition of both MPD online brands is expected to be complete before March next year

Online electrical retailer AO has agreed to acquire Mobile Phones Direct for £32.5 million.

The deal will see the ownership of both online brands, Mobile Phones Direct and Smart Phone Company, transfer to AO.

Combined, the websites had 13.6 million visitors last year, up from 11.6 million in 2016 sparking revenues of £121.7 million in 2017.

AO has made the acquisition to improve its mobile offering which, until now, has been limited to only selling handsets rather than combining the price with airtime.

AO World Plc CEO Steve Caunce said: “This deal represents a significant step forward in our strategy of developing our growing range of online electricals and adding new complementary categories that customers want and expect from AO.

“Mobile Phones Direct already has a leading position within the UK online mobile phone market and is a business which is highly complementary to AO.  In coming together, AO will achieve instant scale and be well-placed for future opportunities within a highly attractive and growing UK mobile phone market.

“With 5G services expected to launch over the next two years and as the electrical products we sell become more connected than ever before, moving further into the mobile market is a logical next step for us.”

Mobile Phones Direct CEO Richard Baxendale said: “This new venture marks an exciting moment for both AO and Mobile Phones Direct, creating something that we believe will be a real game changer for the industry.

“MPD’s experience of the mobile market will give AO a fantastic platform to expand this category and will crucially, enable both of us to offer an even more compelling proposition to our customers.”

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