After yesterday’s announcement of the impending acquisition of Crazy John’s by Vodafone, it looks like it’s a case of same ole’ same ole, according to the mobile resellers CEO Brendan Fleiter.
Speaking to www.channelnews.com.au , Fleiter said that it was going to be “business as usual” at Crazy John’s, with “no staff cuts, no store closures, no changes whatsoever”.
As to the timing of the buyout, Fleiter said that “as you know, Crazy John Founder John Ilhan passed away 14 months ago, and his widow [Patricia] who was left with a 75 per cent holding decided that she wanted to concentrate on her charity and philanthropic work, so in many ways it was good timing”.
“I am excited that Vodafone is enhancing its already successful commercial partnership with Crazy John’s by taking a major stake in the business,” said Patricia Ilhan, adding that, “Crazy John’s welcomes Vodafone’s decision to buy a major stake in the company because it represents the endorsement of the strongest global partner in the telecommunications industry to further enhance the future growth of Crazy John’s. Vodafone, with its international network, can take Crazy John’s to the next level of growth and development”.
Crazy John’s has been touted as the most successful independent phone retailer in Australia with over 120 retail outlets across the across the country and an employer of more than 700 staff. Vodafone for its part has some 200 stores nationwide and is one of the world’s leading mobile communications companies with over 260 million customers globally.
And as Crazy John’s has been a Vodafone reseller for some time, when asked about a situation whereby a Vodafone store was next door to a Crazy John’s reseller and how this would be perceived, Fleiter said that, “its no different to Optus and Virgin or even Qantas and Jetstar”.
On the future of the reseller Fleiter quipped, “it’s just going to get bigger and better”.
Along with Patricia Ilhan’s 75 per cent stake and an 8.3 per cent stake holding by the NAB which the bank also sold to Vodafone, it will control some 83 per cent of the reseller, with the Smorgon family controlling the remaining 16.7 per cent.
There are rumoured talks at the moment between Vodafone and Smorgon to buy their remaining shares, which would give Vodafone total control of the mobile phone reseller.