Dixons buys phone dealer for £31m

Business push

Dixons Stores Group is extending its reach into the business market for mobile phones with the acquisition of Direct Telephone Services Ltd for up to £31m (£2m is contingent upon performance, and the bulk is payable loan notes, presumably for tax planning reasons).

Direct trades under the name Genesis Communications and targets SMEs, which in its book means companies with under 250 employees. The firm flogs contracts over the phone and through a field sales force based in 12 offices across the country.

According to Dixons, Genesis commands high ARPU (average revenue per user) rates, a big SME customer base, connected mostly to Vodafone and O2 networks, and is growing strongly. Dixons is a big player already on the UK mobile phone retailing scene, through The Link retail chain

The Genesis buy is in line with Dixons' earlier moves in the computer business, where the company has expanded well beyond its original retail-only focus, until today, it is one of the UK's biggest PC direct marketing firms, through its PC Business World catalogue operation. ®