Vodafone Australia is acquiring a majority stake in Crazy John’s following a 12-month partnership with the retailer.
The telco will purchase a 75 per cent of shares from its largest shareholder and wife of Crazy John’s late founder John Ilhan, Patricia Ilhan. It will also pick up an 8.3 per cent from the National Australia Bank's stake.
“It’s important for us to have the right distribution to continue to grow our market share,” Vodafone CFO strategy director, Dave Boorman, said. “The acquisition of the Crazy John’s shares provides us with security in cementing our exclusivity with the outlet.”
In March, Vodafone and Crazy John’s announced an extension on their nine-month exclusive partnership into the next decade.
Crazy John’s managing director, Brendan Fleiter, said the extended partnership would see it open a further 20 retail outlets to capitalise on Vodafone’s network expansion.
Boorman said both Crazy John’s and Vodafone’s own retail outlets would continue to run as separate entities.
“We’ll be keeping them as separate brands. Crazy John’s is an iconic brand and has been making a marked difference in the market for us,” he said. “The plans Fleiter had for the company will stay in place and we hope to grow both brands together.”
The acquisition of the shares is still subject to regulatory approvals, but Boorman said the process was expected to be completed by the end of the month.
Crazy John’s founder, John Ilhan, passed away on October 23, 2007. He first established the retail franchise in 1991 under the name Mobileworld. There are now 120 outlets throughout Australia, employing over 800 staff.
In a release, Patricia Ilhan said she was delighted with the purchase of her shares as it ensured a strong future for Crazy John’s staff and customers.