UK-based Cauldwell Communications has agreed to sell its remaining telecoms businesses in a deal that is expected to net the group around GBP1 billion (USD1.84 billion), according to the Financial Times. Bain Capital is preparing to buy mobile phone retailer Phones4U, which has 376 stores across the UK, whilst Doughty Hanson will take over Caudwell Group’s five mobile distribution and services businesses. The two private equity groups were selected as preferred bidders last week and are understood to be conducting due diligence and raising debt financing for the deal. They will form a joint venture to acquire the two businesses as a whole, before hiving off their respective targets at a later date in a bid to lessen the tax hit on the deal.
The sale marks the final stages of the break up of Cauldwell Communications after UK mogul John Cauldwell put the business up for sale in November 2005. In March 2006 UK broadband and telecoms provider Pipex acquired Cauldwell’s Manchester-based fixed line operator Homecall for an undisclosed amount, including the assumption of bank debt of around GBP43 million.