Phones 4u stores could be picked off by EE

Joe Hall
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Phones 4u fell into administration last week, leaving thousands of jobs at risk (Source: Getty)

Mobile network operator EE is in talks to buy 60 Phones 4u stores following the retailer's collapse into administration, according to reports.

The collapse was triggered by EE, Phones 4u's last remaining network partner, terminating its distribution agreement with the retailer soon after Vodafone had done the same.

Phones 4u described EE's decision as a "complete shock", while founder John Caudwell tweeted that his company had been "brought to its knees by ruthless so-called “partners” moving in for the kill!!!"

And now EE could be set to swoop in and pick up the pieces. The Sunday Times reports that the network is working with Phones 4u administrators PwC to finalise a deal to buy the stores before tonight's deadline.

On Friday Vodafone announced it had agreed the purchase of 140 Phones 4u stores, saving 887 jobs. Dixons Carphone has also pounced, purchasing 160 outlets and agreeing to take on 800 staff.

Following the company's collapse, Phones 4u's private equity owner BC Partners had launched a scathing attack on Vodafone.

Representative Stefano Quadrio Curzio said Vodafone's behaviour "appears to have been designed to inflict the maximum damage to their partner of 15 years, giving Phones 4u no time to develop commercial alternatives."

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