What could The Link Be?

Yesterday it was reported that O2 is to buy out its joint venture partner Dixons 60% stake of The Link for £30m.

The sale has been on the cards since the Dixons boss John Clare said he was “open to offers” back in April of last year, which may have been a call for O2 to check their wallet as either party had first refusal on the purchase and could veto a sale to a third party.

Clare said, “I am pleased to announce that we have reached commercial agreement in principle to sell our 60% stake in The Link Stores Limited to O2 (UK) Limited – for a cash sum of approximately £30 million”.

The Links preliminary results for the year to April show a drop in sales by over 20%, so unsurprisingly Dixons (DSGi) are now to concentrate on their “core multi-channel electrical and computing formats”.

After the details are confirmed O2 will wholly own The Link, its 300 stores and the B2B arm Genesis better placing them to sell converged telecoms to end users via the high street with 650 combined O2/Link stores.

Their ambitions to offer mobile, fixed line and broadband services were further confirmed by their purchase of ISP Be for a reported £50m this month.

Matthew Key of O2 said “this acquisition will enable us to take advantage of technology innovations to offer a wider range of joined up mobile, internet and content services for our consumer and business customers in the future.”

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