EE follow rival Vodafone in taking over closed Phones 4u stores following companies collapse. It means so far 2,058 of the 5,600 staff employed by Phones 4u are now guaranteed alternative employment
EE has agreed to purchase 58 Phones 4u stores after coming to a £2.5 million agreement with administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers, saving 359 jobs.
The operator – who like Vodafone pulled out of the retailer this month and was subsequently blamed for its collapse by Phones 4u, has struck a deal to take on 58 Phones 4u leasehold properties, including all fixtures and fittings, and contractual rights of 359 staff members.
The stores will be rebranded as EE stores in due time but cannot be named for legal reasons, according to a statement released by administrator PwC.
PwC joint administrator and partner Rob Hunt said: “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. As with the Vodafone transaction, we consider that this represents the best potential outcome for creditors in the circumstances, although it remains subject to the approval of the UK courts.”
The deal is subject to court approval of the release of the fixed security charge held on behalf of the secured creditors, with PwC making a court application today.
An EE spokesperson: “We can confirm that we have agreed with the Phones 4u administrator to purchase 58 stores, safeguarding 359 job.”
Vodafone / Tesco / Dixons Carphone
The news comes just days after Vodafone announced it too had reached an agreement with administrators to acquire 140 Phones 4u stores saving 900 Phones 4u store jobs.
The operator, who announced plans to expand its own retail estate by 150 stores to 504 earlier this year said the decision would accelerate its rollout strategy. Like with EE details on store locations have yet to be confirmed.
Dixons Carphone has also said it has plans to appoint up to 800 Phones 4u staff to work at its 160 Currys and PC World estate. Tesco has also said it would look to help although no figures have been given.
Three, the first operators to exit the stricken firm, is said to have no direct plans to offer Phones 4u staff alternative employment nor is interested in acquiring from its estate. It is however set to advertise for 200 retail positions as part of its own expansion. O2, who quit Phones 4u earlier this year, is yet to comment.
It means so far 2,058 of the 5,600 staff employed by Phones 4u are now guaranteed alternative employment.
However PwC last week did confirm more than 600 staff working at Phones 4u’s Stoke-on-Trent head office were being made redundant.