Tecno to acquire Nigerian phone vendor Micro-Station for $5m

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The producers of the ubiquitous Tecno phone, Transsion Holdings will pay about $5 million to acquire Micro-Station, the Computer Village, Ikeja-based mobile phone retail chain store, sources say.

This acquisition marks another major turn in Nigeria’s mobile phone industry both for Transsion, the China-based phone maker and local phone distributors. Transsion has progressively been breaking into the mobile phone retail space after becoming the dominant manufacturer and supplier in the Sub Saharan region.

Transsion’s acquisition of Micro-Station is aimed strengthening and expanding its own mobile phone retail arm, 3C Hub, to enable it draw-in even more consumers. Micro-Station will increase 3C Hub’s geographical footprint, thereby boosting its visibility as a store-front retail brand.

According to sources, its stores may sell both its own brands and that of other manufacturers to attract customers, including those that do not use its products. It will however, aim to convert non-users to users. The overall goal is to improve the sales of its own brands.

Emails and calls for comments sent to both Transsion and Micro-Station executives were not responded to as at the time of publication.

It is believed that Transsion has been looking to flesh out its retail operation for a while now. Market observers say that the Chinese firm had tried to acquire Slot systems in the past, but failed.

Slot’s deep retail roots and its highly recognizable and trusted brand made it the ideal acquisition target for Transsion. With its failed bid, Transsion is moving to the next option – Micro-station. Micro-station, although not as sprawling and ubiquitous as Slot, is also an established brand and one of the biggest players in Computer Village.

After the acquisition, it is believed that Micro-station will be merged with Transsion’s 3C Hub to make 3C Hub an even bigger retail operation. All Micro-station stores will likely be converted to 3C Hub stores, and its retail operation will also be taken over. 3C Hub was established in 2015 and has grown both organically and through acquisitions of smaller players. From 1 store in Otigba, Computer Village it now has branches spread across 12 states in Nigeria.

Industry observers say that Transsion’s 3C Hub is being positioned and strengthened to rival Slot. Both stores will likely now slug it out with each other in the retail arena, in which 3C Hub is already making serious advances. It is fast becoming a favorite destination for mobile phone shoppers, who are being won over by its frequent promos and relatively lower prices. Source: Asoko Insight

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