Remember a company called Cellucom? Once upon a time, the Dubai-based group was a joint venture partner with Indian RPG Group and later became a stakeholder in the BK Modi-led Spice group's mobile retail venture HotSpot.
According to reports, Cellucom, one of the largest mobile phone retailers in the Gulf, has shut down all its stores in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its chief executive officer has moved to Africa amid a legal case involving its majority shareholder, the Al Rostamani Group.
In 2007, the Al Rostamani Group bought 51% stake in electronics retailer Cellucom. According to UAE daily ‘The National’, Cellucom stores began closing in September 2009 after major stakeholder Al Rostamani Group filed for liquidation of the retailer because they “could no longer sustain themselves as going concerns.”
"Al Rostamani Group has acted responsibly in the interests of the Cellucom creditors and shareholders in filing the liquidation proceedings," the company was quoted as saying in a statement. Al Rostamani’s application is pending final judgment from the Dubai courts.
Ajay Nagar, a former Cellucom executive and a brother of the Cellucom chief executive officer Arun Nagar, has said that the head of the company was in Tanzania, continuing to expand the business. Ajay Nagar was quoted as saying that his brother left the UAE in March last year.
"He (Ajay Nagar) confirmed that Cellucom had closed all its stores in the UAE," the daily reported.
In February 2009, BK Modi's Spice Group bought 100% stake in Cellucom India in an all-stock deal. In turn, Cellucom got a 26% stake in Spice Group's mobile retail venture HotSpot.
Earlier, the RPG Group sold its 50% stake in their joint venture RPG Cellucom, to the mobile retailer. Following this, Cellucom roped in Ernst & Young to find a partner or investor. — Yogesh Sapkale