UK's EE to buy 58 stores from Phones 4u for 2.5 million pounds

By Reuters

Sep 22, 2014 05:05 AM EDT

Britain's biggest mobile operator EE has agreed to buy 58 stores from retailer Phones 4u [PHONE.UL] for 2.5 million pounds (4 million US dollar), after the retailer was placed in administration a week ago.

Last week, rival mobile operator Vodafone UK (VOD.L) announced the takeover of 140 Phones 4u stores, which the retailer's administrator PwC said on Monday was worth 12.4 million pounds, and retailer Dixons Carphone (DC.L) agreed to take on 800 Phones 4u employees.

"We can confirm that we have agreed with the Phones 4u administrator to purchase 58 stores, safeguarding 359 jobs, subject to court approval," EE said in a statement, which was also confirmed by PwC.

Phones 4u entered administration on Sept. 15 after its last remaining network client EE decided against renewing its contract.

As part of EE's deal, 58 stores - without their inventories - and their employees will transfer to EE with immediate effect, and shops will be re-branded to EE.

Most of them are expected to open in the next week, EE said.

"We consider that this represents the best potential outcome for creditors in the circumstances for these stores," PwC said.

The administrator added that Vodafone's purchase of 140 stores includes in-store inventory worth around 7.1 million pounds.

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