Phones 4u sells off UK’s biggest mobile phone insurer for $160m

Michael Bow
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HIGH STREET retailer Phones 4u yesterday dialled up a £100m deal to sell the UK’s biggest mobile insurer to a Wall Street-listed insurance giant.

The phone shop’s parent company, Phones 4u Finance, will sell Crewe-based Lifestyle Services Group (LSG) to Assurant for $160m (£107m) after being approached by Assurant to buy the business earlier this year.

LSG, which employs about 1,000 people, insures the phones of an estimated 8m people across Britain. It sells its services through banks like Barclays and Lloyds TSB, which offer phone insurance, as well as Phones 4u.

Assurant is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and ranked in the Forbes 500 of top US businesses. It has revenues of $8bn a year.

Phones 4u Finance, which is backed by London-based private equity stalwart BC Partners, said yesterday that the sale would allow the company to focus on its core business.

Chief executive Tim Whiting said: “Assurant is an excellent home for (LSG) and will support its continuing journey.”