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MobileNXT divests 35% stake to TV18

Mahesh Kulkarni  |  Bangalore 

Bangalore-based MobileNXT Teleservices, the Rs 24 crore mobile retail chain has offloaded a 35 per cent stake to media firm, TV18. No transaction details have been disclosed.
Romy Juneja, chief operating officer, MobileNXT, said, "This deal is the first of its kind between a media firm and a mobile retail chain. We have already planned an ambitious expansion plan which will be executed over the next three years."
MobileNXT was promoted by Vijay Menon and Romy Juneja with an initial investment of under $2 million raised from Avendus Advisors, an investment bank based in Mumbai, and some high net worth individuals like Dan Sandhu, in April 2006.
With this partnership consumers will get a combination of online and offline channels where they can check all details on the net, as well as shop at the store. MobileNXT will also be a window to Indian expats.
MobileNXT will benefit from TV18 for content, whether it is ringtones, movies, snippets, creative aspects like entertainment, web creative as well as media advertising.
In about a year and a half, the company has opened 25 retail outlets and it has planned to open 150 stores by March 2008. This will be extended over the next three years.
It plans to invest about $10 million in the next three years, a significant portion of which will be utilised in the next 18 months, Juneja told Business Standard.
Juneja said that the company achieved a turnover of Rs 23.70 crore in FY07 and aims to touch Rs 147 crore by the end of FY08.
Vijay N Menon, founder and CEO, MobileNXT, said, "Our second phase of growth will happen through a franchisee network. We are in the process of appointing franchisees in metros and major cities to expand our footprint. We are also approaching major software companies and public sector companies to open our outlets for their employees."

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First Published: Thu, September 13 2007. 00:00 IST