Phone 4U saved by EE, Vodafone and Dixons Carphone

After the news last week that Phones 4U went into administration, the firm has now been saved in part by three buyers. See also: The best smartphone you can buy in 2014.

Ironically, two of the firms which have decided to buy a number of Phones 4U stores are the two mobile networks which pulled contracts causing the smartphone retailer to hit trouble in the first place; EE and Vodafone.

First to come to the rescue was Dixons Carphone which quickly announced that it would take on all the staff working at the store-in-store sites inside Currys/PC World. That saved a total of 160 stores and 800 staff.

Vodafone said on Friday that it would buy 140 Phones 4U stores, saving 887 jobs across the country. The stores will be rebranded to Vodafone over the coming weeks following a period of transition.

"Our offer was accepted by the administrator and we are pleased to report that approximately 900 former Phones 4U employees will keep their jobs. Subject to court approval, we will start engaging with these employees and begin the rebranding of the stores to Vodafone as soon as possible," said Vodafone.

The other partner to pull in contract was EE which has now followed Vodafone's lead once again and decided to snap up 58 Phones 4U stores for £2.5m. The move will save a further 359 jobs and the firm is planning to reopen stores this week rebranded as EE.

Although many jobs have been saved, it's not all good news for Phones 4U as a large number of staff at the head office have been cut, leaving 400 to support and assist the administrators. Phones 4U employed more than 5,000 staff operating from 720 outlets.

Rob Hunt, joint administrator and PwC partner, said: "It is with great sadness and regret that we have today made the difficult decision to make 628 head office and telesales staff redundant. Our thoughts are with those employees at this difficult time. We will make every effort to help the affected staff, working with the Phones 4U HR team over the coming days to support employees."

Update 23/09/14: Phones 4U's administrator has confirmed that the remaining stores will be closed permanently and staff will be made redundant.

"Unfortunately, there is limited interest in the balance of the estate from parties considering going concern offers. This comprises 362 stores. Regretfully, as a result, the administrators announce that those stores will close permanently and 1697 staff employed at these locations will be made redundant. Another 720 people have been retained in the short term to assist with the closure programme," said PwC in a statement.

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