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Shebang to become Personal Group Mobile following £1.3m takeover

Tuesday, April 28th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Mobile provider Shebang will cease to exist after it was bought by insurance and financial services provider Personal Group for £1.3m.

The MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), which is carried on the Three Mobile network, was sold out of administration for up to £1.3m, with integration and due diligence costs of up to £1m.

Personal Group is using the purchase of the MVNO to form Personal Group Mobile, with the aim of providing ‘salary sacrifice phones and airtime’ to its customers through a subsidiary called Lets Connect.

Salary sacrifices are when individuals agree to give up part of their salary to receive some kind of perk, service or tax break.

Shebang, which at one point boasted of being a £50m turnover business, took its name from the phrase ‘the whole shebang’ and has a philosophy of allowing everyone access to a handset and SIM deal, no matter their credit score.

Personal Group said the acquisition brings more than 20 years’ experience in the mobile industry, an established relationship with Three, and an experienced team of 40 people based in Daventry, Northamptonshire, already serving its customers with more than 10,000 connections.

The company said offering mobile phones and airtime would resonate with all of the two million employees that its programmes serve, and it has already started discussions with a number of its clients “in anticipation of having this new capability”.

'Real savings'

Personal Group CEO Mark Scanlon said the acquisition represented a “swift and effective way” to enter the phone and airtime provisioning market.

He said: “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.”

Personal Group said the acquisition of Shebang was ‘highly complementary’ to its current salary sacrifice product offering and customer base.

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."

She said Three was looking forward to working with Personal Group and its "extended team" to help the business grow.

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