Caudwell slams networks following Phones 4u collapse

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Former owner hits out at decision of networks to withdraw distribution agreements from store he founded in 1996

Phones 4u founder John Caudwell has slammed “ruthless” EE and Vodafone saying he is “sickened and saddened” at the retailer’s administration.

Caudwell, who founded the firm in 1996 before selling out for £1.6 billion in 2006, also hit out at the “short-term private equity strategy” of current owners, BC Partners, which has seen the store placed in administration and 5,500 jobs at risk.

EE revealed last night that it was joining Vodafone, O2 and Three in withdrawing its distribution agreements from Phones 4u stores.

“I am sickened and saddened for nearly 6000 wonderful employees who made @Phones4u into a great business. #ruthlessvodafone #ruthlessEE,” he tweeted.

“Unfortunately combination of short term private equity strategy combined with ruthless network ‘partners’ & government killed @Phones4u.

“Such a sad day for @Phones4u and all its employees! Brought to its knees by ruthless so called ‘partners’ moving in for the kill!!”

A further reply to another user called the move “dreadfully ruthless and heartless”.

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