The Carphone Warehouse Group Plc is paying up to 83m pounds ($129.5m) for independent fixed-line carrier Opal Telecom Plc in a bid to offer fixed and mobile services to the SME sector in the UK.
While best known as the largest mobile handset distributor in Europe through a chain of 1,117 retail outlets, London, UK-based Carphone already operates as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on the T-Mobile network. It believes that the acquisition of Opal will give it a platform to penetrate the small business sector, offering mobile services to Opal’s 20,000 strong customer base and adding fixed-line services to the product range at its outlets.
Since its formation in 1995, Manchester, UK-based Opal has grown rapidly and in the six months to June 30 reported income before interest and tax of £3.5 million on revenue of £61.3 million. Carphone is paying an initial £65 million, half in cash and loan notes and the rest in shares. A further £18 million will be paid subject to Opal reaching profit targets.