Vodafone and EE in sale talks with Phones 4U's administrators

Wed, 17 Sep 2014 | ADMINISTRATION

A few days after Phones 4U’s collapse two of the mobile phone operators that contributed to its failure by exiting its stores in recent weeks, Vodafone and EE, are in talks with the administrators to buy up parts of the company.

The two have approached the administrators separately to express their interest in buying up parts of Phone 4U’s operations to include some of the stores, staff and stock.

The potential deals could mean that thousands of employees, who are facing job losses, might be transferred to new positions.

Dixons Carphone has also come forward with an offer to take on the 800 staff that work in Phones 4U concessions and bring them into its own stores. It may also want to buy some of the stores and Phones 4U’s brands.

At present the troubled retailer’s situation looks bleak, with 550 stores plus about 170 concessions at risk of closure and 6,000 jobs hanging in the balance, in what is the biggest retail failure since Comet’s in 2012.

EE could purchase something between “a handful” and 80 of the outlets, saving the staff’s positions at those stores in the process, an unnamed person close to the situation told The Financial Times.

While a Vodafone spokesman confirmed an approach from the administrators. He said: “We can confirm that we have been approached by the administrators of the Phones4U business. We will not be commenting on the detail of those discussions.”

It is expected that only a small proportion of the business will be rescued. The administrators at PwC have warned of a possible liquidation process around the corner.

Earlier this year EE and Vodafone had briefly looked into a potential takeover of Phones 4U, having been approached by the managers, but did not continue the talks.

Companies owed £430 million by Phones 4U have brought in an American law firm to advise them on their options in the wake of the chain’s demise, marring the situation further.

Related information:
Phones 4U in administration after network provider exits
Phones 4U administrator contact details

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