EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass

Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint

EE has scooped up 58 Phones 4u stores from the beleaguered High Street retailer, one week after it slipped into administration.

The mobile operator, which was partially blamed by Phones 4u for its surprise collapse, revealed the £2.5m purchase in a brief statement to The Register:

We can confirm that we have agreed with the Phones 4u administrator [PwC] to purchase 58 stores, safeguarding 359 jobs, subject to court approval.

As Vulture Weekend reported on Sunday, EE had until last night to secure a deal with Phones 4u administrator PwC.

The buyout comes after rival carrier Vodafone scooped up 140 stricken Phones 4u stores late on Friday for £12.4m.

EE, like Vodafone, plans to quickly rebrand the shops. Most of the EE stores are expected to be opened within the next week.

All of Phones 4u's 359 employees working in the 58 stores bought by EE will be transferred over to the Orange and T-Mobile operator.

However, more than 2,800 staff at the retailer had yet to discover if their jobs have been saved at the time of publication. So far, Phones 4u has laid off 628 head office and telesales staff with redundancy packages.

"We are absolutely delighted to have completed this further disposal of 58 Phones 4U stores, which will both recover value for secured creditors and save 359 jobs," said PwC's joint administrator Rob Hunt.

"As with the Vodafone transaction, we consider that this represents the best potential outcome for creditors in the circumstances for these stores, although it remains subject to the approval of the UK courts." ®

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