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Mobile Phones Direct sold for £32.5m

Thatcham firm bought by AO World plc

Andy Murrill

Andy Murrill


01635 886625

Mobile Phones Direct sold for £32.5m

AO World Plc, a leading European online electrical retailer, today announces that it has conditionally agreed to buy Thatcham-based Mobile Phones Direct Limited (MPD) for a cash-free, debt-free enterprise value of £32.5m.

MPD is a leading online-only retailer of mobile phones in the United Kingdom, and is based in Courtyard Business Centre,
Farmhouse Mews.

It operates through two online brands, Mobile Phones Direct and Smart Phone Company. Its websites had approximately 13.6 million visitors in 2017, up from approximately 11.6 million in 2016.

MPD generated revenues of £121.7m in the year ended March 31 2018.

AO World chief executive 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."

Richard Baxendale, current chief executive of Mobile Phones Direct, 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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