To close out a major year—one that included a rebrand, headquarters move, large tech investment, and more—Southlake-based Likewize is acquiring a subsidiary of one of the largest mobile phone carriers in Australia.
Likewize, a tech protection company that moved from Florida to Dallas-Fort Worth this year, has entered into an agreement to purchase 100% of Optus Insurance Services Pty Limited’s shares. The deal is valued at $140 million.
It’s a significant acquisition for Likewize, says CEO Rod Millar. “We believe that this acquisition—together with several, recent large customer wins—position Likewize to continue to deliver strong growth moving forward,” he said in a statement.
The deal strengthens the company’s device protection portfolio, he says.
Likewize, which employs about 4,000 people and operates in 30 countries, aims to make every tech disruption—whether it’s a lost, stolen, damaged, or malfunctioning device—painless. Its suite of protection and support services is used by brands, telcos, banks, and more for customers worldwide.
Essentially, when your “tech goes wrong,” Likewize is there to make it right.
In all, the company says it resolves 250 million problems each year across insurance, warranty, repairs, trade-ins, re-commerce, and tech support. Additionally, Likewize assists tech users in need of an upgrade or if they don’t know how to do something.
The deal also creates a long-term partnership with Optus Insurance Services Pty Ltd., a subsidiary of Singtel Optus Pty Ltd., one of Australia’s largest mobile phone carriers, and increases the company’s ability to scale and in that market, according to the CEO.
Leading the tech protection and support industry
In recent years, the company has worked to become the most comprehensive provider in the industry, one that ensures customers are protected “against every eventuality.” That’s involved making investments in tech platforms, strategic acquisitions, and the selling of operations in non-strategic markets.
Earlier this year, Likewize announced it was investing some $1 billion in systems and services. That included the acquisitions of LucidCX and WeFix, which added tech support and mobile repair solutions to Likewize’s portfolio.
A comprehensive rebrand: Brightstar becomes Likewize
In August, Likewize unveiled a comprehensive rebrand to represent its transformation from a mobile phone distributor to complete tech protection and support provider.
The new look and name—Likewize was formerly Brightstar—embodied the team’s expansion over the past decade, according to Millar. He felt the team had been the industry’s best-kept secret, but that was “all about to change.”
The rebrand announcement coincided with the news that Likewize was investing $100 million in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The company took a three-pronged approach to the expenditure: creating 500 local jobs, relocating its global headquarters to Southlake, and opening a state-of-the-art fulfillment center in Flower Mound.
Likewize’s DFW investments
According to Likewize, its new HQ in Southlake will help it “reimagine the future of technology.” The relocation from Florida continued the company’s momentum and fueled its expanded capabilities.
The highly automated fulfillment center in Flower Mound is meant to enhance the overall customer experience and optimize Likewize’s footprint across the country. Those operations directly support all U.S. customers.
Additional products and services offered at the facility include tech protection, such as insurance and extended warranty; tech repair in store or at home; renewal, to make tech “affordable for all”; and on-demand tech expertise and customer support.
The facility also partners with global automation and technology providers to “deliver unmatched speed and quality,” despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to Millar.
The Optus deal
Optus is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singtel Optus Pty Limited, the Australian telecommunications company. Matt Williams, Optus’ managing director of products and revenue, said his company will now be able to “go further in meeting customer needs,” expand its offerings, and grow this sector of its business.
Under the terms of the agreement, Likewize will enter into a 15-year partnership to exclusively provide Optus customers with device insurance services, which includes device replacement and upgrade programs, along with more flexible and complete products for device repairs.
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