The phone retailer founded by one of the region’s most successful entrepreneurs could be set tpo change hands according to reports.
Several potential suitors are understood to have approached the Phones4U’s owners, private equity firm Providence Equity, about buying the chain.
It is thought that the flurry of interest in the independent phone retailer has led Providence to consider selling it, however, discussions are believed to be at an early stage.
Analysts estimate the business to be worth between £700 million and £800 million.
Providence bought the firm from its founder John Caudwell in 2006 for £1.46 billion, although the deal also included Caudwell’s 20:20 phone distribution arm.
Phones4U has 476 stores, and it is thought some of the interest may have come from mobile phone operators, as owning shops can help them to encourage consumers to switch provider.
Electronic goods retailer Dixons is also thought to be a potential suitor after the two firms recently agreed a tie-up under which Phones4U concessions will be put into all Currys Megastores and some Dixons outlets.
A sale of the business would trigger a further windfall for Caudwell, who still has a small stake in the business.
The group began in 1987 when he bought 26 phones from the US for more than £1,000 each and sold them on in the UK.
It took him eight months to sell all of the phones, but by the time he sold Phones4U it was shifting 26 mobiles a minute.