Phone Xpress' voluntary administration ends with Leading Edge purchase

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Phone Xpress' voluntary administration ends with Leading Edge purchase
Allan Evans, general manager of Leading Edge Telecoms, told CRN that Phone Express was part of Leading Edge’s telecommunication retail franchise, however the group broke away last year.

“We had a formal franchise relationship then Phone Express decided to go independent. A year later, things weren’t turning out so good and it went into voluntary administration last Thursday. We went to them with an offer to buy all five stores and Phone Express agreed to the terms and conditions on Friday,” said Evans.

Through Leading Edge Telecoms division, the Leading Edge Group finalised arrangements to acquire and operate five stores in South Australia and Broken Hill through the Leading Edge Telecoms division. The stores were formerly operated by Phone Xpress, an Adelaide based Telstra Dealer placed in voluntary administration last week.

The stores, which are to be re-branded to operate as Leading Edge Telecoms stores, cover metropolitan Adelaide from West Lakes and Munno Para, regional South Australia from Port Pirie and Port Adelaide and Broken Hill in far western New South Wales, he said.

According to Evans, an offer was made to retain all of Phone Express’ staff, with the Leading Edge Group planning to transition the existing staff in the five stores and over the next few months undertake an intensive development program.

“We made an offer to all staff across the stores and they have all agreed to come aboard. We will be working closely with them to form the core of a new vibrant division for us,” he said.

Not all of Phone Express’ stores were bought up by Leading Edge Group, with three stores not considered due to territory conflicts. “In our business our Franchisees come first, so these sites just weren't an option for us. The other five did not suit our concept, so we let them go," said Evans.

He claimed the five stores bought will increase the Leading Edge Group earnings before interest and tax by around 20 percent. According to Evans the group’s financials look very healthy, especially with speculation that Telstra will announce its acceptance into the iPhone club.

“I think if Australia follows the global trend then the iPhone will become an absolute phenomenon - people’s appetite for the product is unbelievable,” he said.
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