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Administrator: 'Stores closed while business talks take place'

Staffordshire-based firm Phones4U has gone into administration.

Robert Jonathan Hunt, Ian David Green and Robert John Moran of PwC have been appointed as administrators.

Phones4U also runs its own network operator, Life Mobile Limited, which is also in administration Credit: PA

"This is a very sad day for the business and the many people working there. In light of our impending appointment the directors understandably took the decision to close all the shops today and sent many staff home.

Our initial focus will be to quickly engage with parties who may be interested in acquiring all or part of the business, and to better understand the financial position and options for the company. The stores will remain closed while we have these conversations.

We will also be talking to network operators and suppliers, and trying to access funds to pay for the costs of the business, including wages.

These conversations will determine whether we can re-open stores and trade, and also if and when we can pay the arrears of wages to employees. Our hope is that we will be able to pay all the outstanding wages arrears.”

– Rob Hunt, joint administrator and PwC partner
  1. National

Vodafone 'not to blame' for Phones 4u collapse

A Phones 4u store on Oxford Street in central London remained closed today following the company's collapse into administration. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Vodafone has rejected claims that it behaved inappropriately during its negotiations with Phones 4u, which collapsed into administration today at the cost of almost 6,000 jobs.

The mobile operator said the decision its contract with Phones 4u was made on "purely commercial reasons following extensive negotiations".

"Phones 4u was offered repeated opportunities to propose competitive distribution terms to enable us to conclude a new agreement, but was unable to do so on terms which were commercially viable for Vodafone," the company said.

The private equity firm BC Partners bought Phones 4u for £610m in 2011, and took a £225m dividend from the business last year, leaving it saddled with debt of more than £600m.

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Staffordshire-based firm Phones4U goes into administration

Breaking news Credit: ITV News Central

Staffordshire-based firm Phones4U has gone into administration.

Robert Jonathan Hunt, Ian David Green and Robert John Moran of PwC have been appointed as administrators.

In addition to its retail operations, Phones4U also runs its own network operator, Life Mobile Limited, which is also in administration.

Phones4U: Who to call with questions

A list of contact numbers has been released for Phones4U customers who have questions over their existing contracts or insurance policy.

It comes as the Staffordshire-based chain goes into administration. All 550 UK stores are closed today and the website has gone offline.

The message on the Phones4U website Credit: Phones4U

Anyone with any questions can call the following numbers:

  • Phones 4u Customer Service 0844 8712253
  • Technical Support 0844 8712233
  • Handset Repairs 0844 8712269
  • Phones 4u Care (Insurance) 0844 8710535
  • LIFE Mobile Customer Service 0844 3221133
  1. National

Phones 4u 'heartbroken' as it enters administration

Phones 4u's official Twitter account says the team is "heartbroken" that the company has been placed into administration threatening over 5,500 jobs.

Entrepreneur John Caudwell, who founded the business in the 1980s and sold it in 2006 for nearly £1.5bn, also took to Twitter to say how "sickened and saddened" he was by the news.

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Van driver suffers severe head injury in crash

A van driver suffered a severe head injury after crashing into a wall in Staffordshire this morning.

The woman, aged 42, was anaesthetised at the scene while emergency crews worked to free her from the van.

The female van driver suffered a severe head injury in the crash Credit: West Midlands Ambulance Service

She was then taken to the major trauma centre at University Hospital North Staffordshire for further treatment.

Paramedics were called to Draycott Lane in Tean, Stoke-on-Trent, shortly after 5.30am and found the van had left the road and smashed into a wall.

Phones4U boss warns of higher prices for customers

The collapse of mobile phone chain Phones4U will mean higher prices for customers in the UK, company bosses have warned.

As he prepares to put the company into administration, Phones4U chief executive David Kassler said it was a "very sad day" for both customers and staff.

The chief executive says the firm going into administration will mean less competition and higher prices. Credit: PA

He issued a warning that less competition in the market would mean customers ultimately shouldering a higher monthly fee.

Today is a very sad day for our customers and our staff.

If the mobile network operators decline to supply us, we do not have a business. A good company making profits of over £100 million, employing thousands of decent people has been forced into administration.

The great service we have provided should have guaranteed a strong future, but unfortunately our network partners have decided otherwise.

The ultimate result will be less competition, less choice and higher prices for mobile customers in the UK.

– David Kassler, Phones4U chief executive

Two injured after head-on smash in Staffordshire

Two people have been taken to hospital after a head-on crash in Staffordshire this morning.

Fire crews from Dudley and Wolverhampton were called to the scene of the crash on the B4176 Himley by-pass in Wombourne at around 7am.

Two people suffered minor injuries, and were taken to hospital to be checked over.

The road remains closed at Pool House Road.

Thousands of jobs at risk as Phones4U goes under

More than 5,500 jobs are under threat across the UK as Staffordshire-based mobile phone shop Phones4U prepares to go into administration.

The business was set up by Birmingham-born entrepreneur John Caudwell in Staffordshire in the 80s.

A Phones 4u branch pictured in Nottingham Credit: PA

The decision comes after the EE network joined Vodafone in cutting ties with the chain.

Bosses are expected to instruct administrators from PwC today.

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