Carphone Warehouse splits in two

High court approval clears the way for the Carphone Warehouse retail chain and the TalkTalk ISP business to begin operating as separate companies
Written by Richard Thurston, Contributor on

Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk will officially become two separate companies on Monday, after the split was sanctioned by the high court.

The demerger of the retail (Carphone Warehouse) and broadband ISP (TalkTalk) businesses has been planned since June. At the time, the group's chief executive Charles Dunstone said there were "no material synergies" between the two companies and they were effectively already operating separately.

On Monday, the company said it had received legal approval for the split, which it had said would happen by July 2010 at the latest.

"The Carphone Warehouse Group PLC is pleased to announce that the High Court of Justice in England and Wales has today made an order sanctioning the Scheme... to effect the separation of the TalkTalk Business by a demerger to TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC," the company said in a statement.

The last day of trading in Carphone Warehouse shares on the London Stock Exchange was Tuesday, and the company has requested that its shares be delisted from Wednesday, to enable the completion of the split.

The demerger will become effective at 4.30pm on Friday, with the two companies being separately admitted to the stock exchange at 8am on the following Monday.

Carphone Warehouse's former retail arm will be known as the Carphone Warehouse Group upon completion and will retain the Carphone Warehouse brand on the high street. The business formed a joint venture with US-based electronics chain Best Buy in May 2008, and the Best Buy chain has announced the opening of four stores in its name at Thurrock (Essex), Merry Hill (West Midlands), Hedge End (Southampton) and Aintree (Liverpool). The first store, in Thurrock, is due to open in April.

TalkTalk Telecom Group, as the demerged ISP business will be known, is the second largest residential broadband provider in Britain, following its May 2009 acquisition of Tiscali UK.

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