Mobile Fun is looking for a buyer as it looks to expand further overseas and more than double its sales in the next five years.
Mohammed Hussain (pictured)
, managing director of the mobile accessories pureplay, says fast international expansion is a central part of a strategy to build the business to annual sales of £25m by 2017 from the more than £12m that it expects to turn over in the year to March 31 2013. By the end of the current financial year the company, which reported turnover of more than £10m in the year to March 31 2012, says it will also have launched in 20 new countries, adding to the 13 countries in which it currently has an international presence.
Last year Mobile Fun
, which has offices in the US, Germany, France and Spain, saw international sales grow by 161%, driven by new market launches. It operates in a market that ABI Research predicts
will grow to $38bn in turnover by 2017.
To expand further in the market, says Hussain, Mobile Fun will need outside backing. "The market opportunity for accessory sales combined with online retail is enormous," he said. "Our launch into international markets has accelerated our growth, and now we want to increase the pace at which we enter new markets. Whilst the existing shareholders have been supportive of our growth to-date, we all agree that the company could achieve more if it was part of a larger organisation."
Mobile Fun has called in corporate finance advisers from Altium Capital
to advise on a possible trade sale. “We typically receive several approaches a year from both private equity and trade buyers in the UK and from overseas,” said Hussain. “We feel that the timing is now right to find new shareholders for our growing and profitable online business.”
Hussain also points to Mobile Fun's homegrown ecommerce platform as a major asset. "Our company has built up considerable ecommerce expertise over the last 10 years. Our in-house developed platform is as sophisticated as that of any major online retailer. Our knowledge of the smartphone and tablet accessories market is unrivalled. We have proven that there is a significant international opportunity for our business and are now ready to capitalise on this."
He would not speculate on what valuation would be put on Mobile Fun, which also operates in the UK through brands including GearZap.com, GamingZap.com and LoveCases.co.uk. Hussain said that both he and the management team planned to remain at the helm of the company as it expands.
Altium Capital's previous successes include last year's £58m sale of Myprotein.com to The Hut Group
Andy Clarke, of Altium Capital in Manchester, said: “Mobile Fun is a high-growth potential company operating in a very attractive market which has proved resilient to the current economic conditions. As Mobile Fun presents a unique opportunity, we anticipate initial discussions with potential new shareholders taking place before Christmas. If a suitable party emerged an agreement could be in place by early 2013.”
Mohammed Hussain joined Mobile Fun as a graduate in 2003, after previously working part-time at Carphone Warehouse while a biomedical sciences student and was promoted to the board in 2007, becoming managing director in 2009.