Personal Group acquires Shebang to launch mobile phone benefit


Employee benefits provider Personal Group has acquired Shebang Technologies to launch a mobile virtual network operator business branded Personal Group Mobile. 

The takeover, which is valued at an estimated £1.3 million, will enable Personal Group to provide mobile phones and airtime via salary sacrifice for employers to offer as an employee benefit. 

It complements Personal Group’s Lets Connect offering.

Personal Group acquired Lets Connect in March 2014. 

The service will enable employers to provide mobile phones with airtime as a tax-efficient employee benefit.

Employees can take up mobiles through the scheme at a discount of approximately 32%-47% on standard retail pricing.

Phones will run on a 24-month contract and will include iPhone, Samsung and other handsets.

Shebang Technologies has more than 20 years of experience in the mobile industry, an established relationship with mobile network Three UK and a team of 40 staff based in Daventry.

Mark Scanlon, chief executive officer of Personal Group, said: “[We are] delighted to announce this bolt-on acquisition which represents a swift and effective way to enter the phone and airtime provisioning market with a fully functioning and operational business. 

“We view mobile phones and airtime as a utility and a necessity where we can offer real savings for our [employer clients]. We welcome Shebang and its staff to Personal Group and look forward to building the business with them.”

David Walker, chief commercial officer at Personal Group, added: “We now have an new mobile virtual network operator business and we will create a new range of products including a salary sacrifice [mobile] network for employers.

“It lets us create a salary sacrifice product for the employee benefit industry. What we are hoping to do is create a proposition at 35% reduced cost of mobile phone bills.

”Every employee will benefit from savings and a mobile phone offering for an employer has universal appeal.”