Glentel (TSX:GLN) today announced it has completed the acquisition of Wireless Zone, a 428-store franchise system in the United States that sells Verizon Wireless products and services. The Burnaby-based owner of Wireless Wave and T-Booth Wireless stores paid (US) $83.3 million for the franchise.
CEO Tom Skidmore talked about his company’s growing geographic footprint.
“I am pleased to announce the successful acquisition of ATI, and to welcome ATI’s employees and Wireless Zone’s franchisees to the GLENTEL family,” he said. “The acquisition of Wireless Zone increases our already-established US presence, and with limited geographic overlap will complement the corporate stores of Diamond Wireless, one of six exclusive Verizon National Premium Retailers. The addition of ATI brings the total number of locations operated by GLENTEL in Canada, Australia, and the United States to more than 1,180.”
Glentel’s foray into the US is recent, considering the company’s long history. In 2010, sensing its model had saturated the Canadian market, Glentel went south for the first time, buying a controlling stake in Diamond Wireless, a major third-party reseller of Verizon Wireless products in the U.S. Now, two years after entering the US market, Glentel’s sales there represent more than half it its Canadian one. In its recently reported Q3, sales from its U.S. retail division increased 45% to $59.9 million. That compared to just a 6% increase in the retail Canada division, to $106.9 million.
Glentel opened its first Wireless Wave store in Burnaby’s Metrotown in 1997, and has since opened more than 130 more. In October, the company teamed up with Target to offer an array of wireless devices to customers when the discount chain opens its stores in Canada in 2013.
Shares of Glentel closed today up 2.5% to $18.65.