Personal Group acquires shebang Technologies Group Ltd

Posted: 20th April 2015 08:26

Personal Group (AIM:PGH), a leading provider of employee benefits and employee related insurance products in the UK, today announces the establishment of Personal Group Mobile Limited ("Personal Group Mobile" or "PGM"), a Mobile Virtual Network Operator ("MVNO") aimed at providing salary sacrifice phones and airtime to its established and new customers through its subsidiary Lets Connect.
This bolt-on acquisition complements the established Lets Connect technology offering allowing the Group to provide both mobile phone handsets and airtime via salary sacrifice. This offering allows a 32-47% reduction in mobile costs to its customers.  PGM was established through its acquisition of shebang Technologies Group Limited ("shebang"), out of administration, for a total cash consideration of up to £1.3m (the "Acquisition") with integration and due diligence costs of up to £1 million.  This acquisition brings with it over 20 years' of experience in the mobile industry, an established relationship with Three UK and an experienced team of 40 people based in Daventry already serving its customers with over 10,000 connections.
The Board believes that offering this specific product set within its portfolio will resonate with all of the two million employees that its various programmes serve today, and the Group has already begun discussions with a number of its clients in anticipation of having this new capability.  
The Board intends to continue to grow Personal Group through its existing strategy that focuses on organic growth, developing its technology and identifying compelling acquisitions.  This acquisition is highly complementary to the Group's salary sacrifice product offering and customer base, and it provides the Group with another reason to engage and rollout programmes which can include our core insurance products.  Typically airtime contracts are in place for a minimum of 24 months and as such a form of annuity income for the company as our insurance products are today.
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. With the individual business propositions including salary sacrifice and B2B we expect this business to make a good contribution to profit from 2016 onwards.  We view mobile phones and airtime as a utility and as such 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."
Lynda Burton, Director of Wholesale at Three UK, said: "shebang was one of Three's first MVNO clients and has continued to benefit from our robust network which has been built with mobile data in mind."
"This acquisition has the potential to expand the company's existing portfolio of consumer and business propositions by combining with Personal Group's base of customers and experience.  We look forward to working with Personal Group and the extended team to help grow this business."

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