Two of the UK's most prominent electronics retailers – Carphone Warehouse and Dixons Retail – have announced they are to join forces in a merger worth an estimated £3.7bn.
It had been revealed just three months ago that the pair had opened talks on the potential for a tie-up – and that merger has now been approved by the boards of both companies.
Under the terms of the all-share agreement, the shareholders of both Carphone Warehouse and Dixons Retail will hold a 50 per cent stake in the new entity – Dixons Carphone.
It is hoped the deal will "create a leader in European consumer electricals, mobiles, connectivity and related services", with both groups already boasting a substantial UK presence.
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Carphone Warehouse currently has around 2000 retail stores across seven European countries, primarily under the Carphone Warehouse and Phone House brands.
Meanwhile, Dixons has more than 900 stores across 12 countries – around 500 of which operate under the Currys and PC World brands here in the UK and Ireland.
Once the merger is finalised, Carphone Warehouse chairman Sir Charles Dunstone will become chairman of Dixons Carphone. Dixons Retail CEO Sebastian James will become CEO.
Meanwhile, Carphone Warehouse deputy chairman Roger Taylor and Dixons Retail chairman John Allen will be co-deputy chairmen to Sir Charles Dunstone.
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Sir Charles Dunstone said: "We see the merger of these two great companies as an opportunity to bring our skills together for the consumer and create a new retailer for the digital age."
Dixons chairman John Allen said: "This merger will create a new, world-class British retailer for the new digital age, with new opportunities for growth and greater scale and reach."
by Pete Hayman