Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Second hedge fund dials up legal battle over Phones 4U debts


Cyrus Capital Partners, a US hedge fund, has signed an agreement with the administrators of collapsed mobile phone retailer Phones 4U in order to seek access to confidential investigations of former directors.

According to The Telegraph, Cyrus Capital partners joins Stonehill Capital Partners in pursuit of inside details from PwC of how and why the mobile phone retailer collapsed last year.

PwC said that following an investigation into the conduct of Phones 4U by the law firm Quinn Emmanuel “further steps have been taken to further clarify circumstances leading up to Phones 4U being placed into administration”.

The auditor added: “We are not providing further details at this point due to the sensitivities that surround it.”

Cyrus and Stonehill‘s deals mean they have access to the findings of the investigation, setting up a potential legal battle with private equity group BC Partners, Phones 4U‘s owner until its collapse.

Directors and members of senior management at Phones 4U borrowed £460,000 to buy shares in Phosphorus Jersey Ltd, the phone retailer‘s ultimate parent company. The debts and borrowing loaded on to Phones 4U by BC Partners meant it was forced into administration.

PwC‘s report, started nearly a year ago, is now expected to take as long as four more years with the administrators saying they will apply to the courts for next month‘s automatic deadline to be extended until 2019.

BC Partners has pinned blame for the collapse on mobile operators ending handset and contract supply agreements. 

Charlotte Brown