Phones 4U has announced that it has gone into administration now that EE, its last remaining partner, has severed ties with the company. All 720 Phones 4U outlets, including 550 standalone stores, will close pending review by administrators.
EE, which reportedly accounted for half of Phones 4U's annual sales, made the decision following Vodafone's announcement that it would pulling its products from Phones 4U stores at the start of the month.
Stefano Quadrio Curzio, representative of Phones 4U's owners, BC Partners, said:
“Our overriding concern is for all the dedicated hard-working employees of Phones 4u at a time of uncertainty for the company. Vodafone has acted in exactly the opposite way to what they had consistently indicated to the management of Phones 4u over more than six months. Their behaviour appears to have been designed to inflict the maximum damage to their partner of 15 years, giving Phones 4u no time to develop commercial alternatives. EE's decision on Friday is surprising in the context of a contract that has more than a year to run and leaves the Board with no alternative but to seek the Administrator's protection in the interests of all its stakeholders.”
All 5,596 members of Phones 4U's staff are reportedly being briefed by management tomorrow morning, and will be paid until further notice. The company has also announced that all contracts purchased from the company will be unaffected.