O2 close to taking over The Link, papers say

19 Jun 2006

Mobile operator O2 UK is close to agreeing a deal to buy partner DSG International out of telecoms retailer The Link, according to local press reports. The Guardian claims that DSG, which also owns UK electrical retailers Dixons, Currys and PC World, may use the release of its full-year financial results this week to unveil a deal to sell its 60% stake in The Link. O2 responded to the reports by saying that it had been engaged in talks to acquire the chain ‘in the past,’ but refused to comment on current speculation.

The Link was set up by DSG in 1994, with O2 coming on board three years later in an attempt by the operator to secure a presence on the high street at a time when rivals Vodafone and One2One (now T-Mobile) were rolling out retail sites of their own; its stores now number more than 300. DSG was first reported to be mulling the sale of its stake in The Link in April, following a disappointing performance over the Christmas period, during which sales fell 9% year-on-year.

United Kingdom, O2 UK