Caudwell rings up £1.3bn from Phones4U sale

The tycoon John Caudwell yesterday netted £1.3bn from the sale of his mobile phones empire to the private equity firms Doughty Hanson and Providence Equity Partners.

Under the terms of the deal, Doughty Hanson will acquire Caudwell Group outright and then sell on the Phones4U retailer chain to Providence, while retaining the 20:20 Logistics Distribution business. 20:20 Logistics not only distributes mobile phones throughout the UK and Europe, but also is one of the largest suppliers of phone accessories such as cases and chargers in the world.

Mr Caudwell, who was listed as the UK's 29th richest person in this year's Sunday Times Rich List, owns 85 per cent of the company. His brother Brian, who helped him set up the business, owns 10 per cent, while Craig Bennett, the group finance director, has 5 per cent. The price the two private equity players paid for the firm surprised analysts. Most did not expect it to fetch more than £1.1bln.

Mr Caudwell said: "The sale process has attracted interest from a larger number of high quality bidders and I believe that we have achieved a fair price for the business."

He added: "Selling the business will allow me to spend more time fulfilling personal ambitions, more time with my family and more time working with my charity."

The 53-year-old Phones4U tycoon set up his own children's charity in 2002, naming it the Caudwell Charity. It gives money to sick youngsters for hospital treatment, medical equipment and for "dying wish" holidays. However, Mr Caudwell does not intend to retire from the business altogether. He said: "I have a number of investment and commercial plans in the pipeline, which will allow be to maintain some interests in the business world."

Mr Caudwell, a former used car salesman, set up the Stoke-based firm in 1987 when mobile phones were virtually unheard of. Initially, the company, called Midland Mobile Phones, took eight months to resell its first order of 26 phones. Today, it sells 26 phones every minute, employs 8,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £2bn.

Like its rival Carphone Warehouse, which has a stock market value of £2.3bn, the group rode to success on the wave of mobile phone uptake. Mr Caudwell, who lives with his 36-year-old partner Claire Johnson in Broughton Hall, a £10m Grade I listed Staffordshire mansion, put his company up for sale in November of last year. To start with, it held exclusive talks with Doughty Hanson and Bain Capital. Bain fell out of the bidding at a late stage for undisclosed reasons.

Yesterday, the billionaire said that Caudwell Group has had "another year of excellent trading performance". He added: "With strong management teams across the business, I am confident we will see further growth in the coming months under the new ownership." The sale to the two private equity firms is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close next month.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows, Network Security)

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...

Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Directory, ITIL, Reuter)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?