Phones 4U may still keep ringing….

When BC Partners paid over €750m for the UK based mobile phone retailer Phones 4U, it could never have foreseen that a little over 3 years later they would be announcing that the company had been placed in administration in order to “seek the Administrator’s protection of the interests of all the stakeholders”.

However, that is what happened at the beginning of this week, resulting in the temporary closure of all of the company’s stores and recriminations aimed at the behaviour of Vodafone and EE, both of which have declined to renew contracts to provide the company with network provision. 

Given the release of the iPhone 6 in the UK is due later this week, this will no doubt leave a significant number Apple addicts who pre-ordered the new phone frantically trying to fulfil their Apple fix from elsewhere. 

According to press reports, and somewhat ironically, the same companies that have caused the demise of Phones 4U are now in discussions with the administrator PwC about potentially acquiring some assets of the business they have helped put in to this position. Also being linked as a potential purchaser is DixonsCarphone, the company formed as a result of the €2.3bn takeover of Dixons by Carphone Warehouse that completed a little over one month ago. 

If ever there was a case where there appeared to be a more deserving winner, then this is it. It would surely be hard to stomach for all those associated with Phones 4U if the any parts of the business ended up in the hands of Vodafone or EE!