Tuesday, September 16, 2014

News: Phones 4u in administration


Administrators have been called in at Phones 4u, a leading independent mobile phone retailer, after a deal to sell phones with network operators EE was not renewed. This meant that the firm was left unable to sell products from leading operators after Vodafone and O2 had already pulled out.

With an annual turnover of £1 billion, Phones 4u has more than 700 outlets and 5,596 employees. It operated high street stores such as on Effingham Street in Rotherham town centre and at out of town centres such as Parkgate Shopping in Rotherham. It also operated from concessions in Currys / PC World stores that are now owned by its main rival - the merged Dixons and Carphone Warehouse group.

The business was acquired by investment funds advised by BC Partners from Providence Equity Partners LLC in 2011. PwC was appointed as administrators this week and will assess if any parts of the business can be sold.

Rob Hunt, joint administrator and PwC partner, said: "This is a very sad day for the business and the many people working there. In light of our impending appointment the directors understandably took the decision to close all the shops today and sent many staff home.

"Our initial focus will be to quickly engage with parties who may be interested in acquiring all or part of the business, and to better understand the financial position and options for the company. The stores will remain closed while we have these conversations.

"We will also be talking to network operators and suppliers, and trying to access funds to pay for the costs of the business, including wages.

"These conversations will determine whether we can re-open stores and trade, and also if and when we can pay the arrears of wages to employees. Our hope is that we will be able to pay all the outstanding wages arrears."

Phones 4 U website

Images: Phones 4u


Anonymous,  September 16, 2014 at 9:48 AM  

Hardly a surprise as it seems like a cut-throat market.

In Rotherham town centre you had Phones4u literally next door to Carphone Warehouse.

Not good for the staff or our struggling high streets though.

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