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Carphone to acquire Best Buy’s European stake for £471m

Paul Withers
April 30, 2013

Five-year relationship between the retailers to come to an end in a move Carphone says simplifies its ownership structure

Carphone Warehouse is to acquire the 50 per cent stake held by Best Buy as part of its European joint venture for £471m.

It  will pay £391 million in cash, funding the remaining £80 million through the placement of more than 47 million shares at 190p each.

The deal ends a five year relationship between the British mobile phone retailer and US consumer electronics retailer, with the latter paying £1.1 billion in 2008 to expand its three per cent share in Carphone Warehouse Europe.

The two retailers planned to build US-style ‘big box’ electronics stores in Europe, but Best Buy aborted that strategy in 2011. It closed its stores in the UK, and paid Carphone $1.3 billion for its interest in the US phone chain, Best Buy Mobile.

The joint venture currently operates nearly 2,377 stores across eight European countries, employing around 13,000 people and trading under the Carphone Warehouse and Phone House brands.

Carphone Warehouse chief executive Roger Taylor (pictured) said: “Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy have enjoyed a great relationship over the last five years, ensuring that we have shared and enjoyed many aspects of each other’s business attributes.

“However, following the sale of our US interest last year, we have become increasingly responsible for the day-to-day running of CPW Europe whilst conversely Best Buy have become more focused on their wholly-owned business.

“As a result, both parties have agreed that this is a good time for us to bring the joint venture to an end, whilst ensuring that our relationship remains in place by way of our global buying alliance.

“For us, the transaction will simplify our ownership structure, streamline management decision-making and give us full ownership of our growth opportunities across Europe and other markets around the world.”

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