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i2 picks up PCs with CompuMe

Saudi Arabian mobile phone retailer i2 has stepped up its expansion plans with the acquisition of computer store chain CompuMe, it said this week.

Executives at i2 said that the capture of CompuMe would make it one of the biggest retailer of combined telecoms, digital electronics and IT products in the Middle East and Africa.

The purchase will also enable i2 to create multi-concept stores selling telecoms, IT and digital electronic products under one roof.

The mobile phone firm plans to open 150 retail outlets in MEA over the next three years at a total cost of around US$35million. It also intends to refurbish its 340 existing stores to accommodate IT and electronic products.

"This is a momentous occasion for i2 Group as we pursue our expansion plan to be the largest retailer covering 30 countries. Undoubtedly, i2 is the only electronics, telecommunications, and IT retailer with an extensive network that spans across the Middle East and Africa," commented Abdul Hameed Al Sunaid, CEO of i2 Group.

"With the merger, CompuMe brings in its expertise in retail operations and technical know-how to the i2 business, which will be implemented in the existing i2 outlets in 22 countries and the forthcoming 150 multi-concept stores," said Dikran Tchablakian, former vice chairman of CompuMe and now senior vice president of i2 Group; this role will see him take charge of the retail operations.