Phones 4U is one of the high street’s most easily recognised brands, with its bright red and blue shop fronts and irreverent television ads. The company started life in 1996 and grew rapidly to become one of the biggest players in the competitive mobile-phone retail market. The Newcastle-under-Lyme company has 450 stores, and owns Dial-a-Phone, a mail-order mobile-phones business. Founder John Caudwell sold the company to Providence Equity Partners in 2006, in a £1.46 billion deal. Under chief executive Tim Whiting, sales at Phones 4U reached £766m in 2007.
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