Report claims executives met with financial and legal advisers to the retailer to discuss an acquisition along with EE, but later dismissed any deal
Vodafone was in talks about a joint takeover of Phones 4u just two months ago but walked away from the deal without explanation.
This is according to a report on Sky News, which claims Vodafone executives met with financial and legal advisers to Phones 4u in June to discuss a takeover of the retailer along with EE.
Citing a person close to the talks, it says the deal would have been structured as a 50:50 acquisition of the company, with the mobile operator encouraging its legal team to “review how this could be achieved given the competition constraints.”
The person added that Vodafone had then indicated it may pursue a takeover on its own if EE decided to walk away from the deal.
On July 8, as talks were taking place regarding an extension of Vodafone’s distribution contract with Phones 4u, Vodafone’s UK executives made a presentation to group colleagues entitled “Phones 4u – Partner oF Choice”.
However, on September 1, with was announced that Vodafone had opted against renewing its network agreement with Phones 4u, which expires in February, while no further talk about a takeover were held.
“For regulatory and commercial reasons, the acquisition of Phones 4u was not an option.
“The UK management team took legal advice in the early summer to review its potential but it was quickly dismissed given the advice we received.
“We have made our position on the commercial negotiations with Phones 4u very clear and have nothing more to add.
“The decision to terminate our contract with them was made independently by the UK management team on purely commercial reasons following extensive negotiations.”