Hotspot, the mobile retail chain of handset manufacturer Spice Mobility Ltd (formerly S Mobility), is in an advanced stage of discussions to buy out the Indian business of Jumbo Electronics, Dubai’s largest consumer electronics retailer.
The Economic Times reported quoting Hotspot’s director Subhasish Mohanty that the firm is keen to acquire Jumbo’s 16 stores with its fixtures located across the country.
The Dubai-headquartered firm, which has failed to turn its business in India profitable, has also asked its 145 employees to look for new jobs.
Email queries sent to Jumbo and Spice Mobility didn’t elicit any response till the filing of this report.
The proposed deal, as Mohanty claimed, will provide Hotspot an edge over other electronics retailers as some of Jumbo’s stores are located in prime locations in the country. Currently, Jumbo’s stores are located across NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Lucknow, Ghaziabad and Bengaluru.
Spice Mobility operates 200 company-owned Hotspot stores besides managing another 225 units of UniverCell in the south and Mobiliti World in the north and the east.
Spice Mobility, a part of BK Modi Group, had changed its name twice, reverting to its previous name. Though it has been trying to position itself as a mobile internet firm, it still derives a large chunk of its revenues from its handset business. It has operations spanning India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.
The public-listed Spice Mobility was involved in several acquisition deals in the recent past. In July 2015, a unit of BK Modi-promoted Spice Mobility had acquired a minority stake in Creative Functionapps Lab Pvt. Ltd, which develops products and services for next-generation telecom networks.
Prior to that, Spice Digital Ltd (SDL), a subsidiary of Spice Mobility Ltd, had acquired 38.53% stake in privately held Anytime Learning Pvt. Ltd, which provides online higher education services.
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