Carphone Warehouse splits in two

Steve Dinneen
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TalkTalk and Carphone Warehouse (CPW), the electronics retailer, both saw a positive reaction to their first day operating as separate entities.

Carphone Warehouse added 7.3 per cent after it spun off its TalkTalk broadband supplier. Its shares began trading at 144p and closed at 155p. TalkTalk added 4.4 per cent on its maiden day trading, 21 years after it was founded. The broadband and fixed-line provider ­– which became the UK’s biggest domestic broadband supplier after its acquisition of Tiscali – started at 126p and closed at 132p, valuing it at more than £1bn.

The companies rushed ahead with plans for the demerger, originally slated for July.

CPW founder Charles Dunstone will maintain an interest in both new companies, with a 33 per cent stake in each, together worth an estimated £550m.

TalkTalk is now led by new chief executive Dido Harding, the former J Sainsbury director. She gained a reputation as a shrewd operator in the grocery world, rising through the Tesco ranks before taking on the role at Sainsbury’s, where she was head of its convenience strategy.

The retail wing will be led by a former Tesco executive, Scott Wheway. He was appointed chief executive of Best Buy Europe, the European joint venture between CWP and its US-based partner. Wheway joined from Alliance Boots, where he was managing director. He is responsible for operations in Canada, China, Mexico and Turkey as well as Europe.

A TalkTalk spokesman said the day’s trading was “encouraging”. He added: “We had high expectations for the new company and there were no major surprises for us. It was an encouraging day.”