Merger unconditionally cleared by the European Commission

Dixons Carphone merger gets green light as pair post profits

The Dixons Carphone merger has been approved by the European Commission, giving the go-ahead for the two tech retailers to become one company.

The European Commission confirmed that it has ‘unconditionally cleared’ the merger, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of remaining conditions set out in an upcoming document. 

The news comes as both Dixons Retail (owner of Currys/PC World) and Carphone Warehouse post impressive profits for their financial years ending April 30th and March 29th 2014 respectivey.

Carphone’s earnings before interest and taxes reached £151 million, up from £132 million last year, while like-for-like revenues grew 5.3 per cent.

Dixons’ Group underlying profit before tax increased by 76 per cent to £166.2 million, versus £94.5 million reported last year. In the UK and Ireland, underlying operating profits rose 24 per cent. Total underlying Group sales rose three per cent to £7.22 billion.

The firms are set to merge on August 6th, with Dixons Carphone hoping to begin trading shares on August 7th.

Sebastian James, Dixons Retail Group Chief Executive, commented: “The Group is stronger – both commercially and financially – than it has been for a number of years and we are well positioned to set sail into new waters. I am very excited about the opportunities that the proposed merger with Carphone Warehouse offers for the Group.

"We will build what I hope will be the first and best truly multi-channel proposition that allows customers not only to buy and experience the explosion of new connected products that are emerging, but to also get the advice, connectivity and services that will allow them to use technology as it should be used – to make their lives better. In turn, this will allow us profoundly to change the nature of what we do: we will move from a transactional to a lifelong relationship with customers everywhere." 

Andrew Harrison, Carphone Warehouse’s CEO, added: "We have moved our business forward significantly, showing further progress on 4G, developing our award-winning tablet-based assisted sales tool, Pin Point, growing our Connected World Services business, and taking steps to realise value through the proposed sale of Virgin Mobile France. We have also made some key strategic developments in our Connected World Services business, including our preferred-partner agreement with Samsung to roll out and manage their stores across Europe.

"The history of Carphone Warehouse has been one of anticipating change and positioning the business to take advantage of this change. Looking ahead, the shifts we see in the marketplace offer considerable opportunities. From a position of strength, we are planning to take greater advantage of these developments through our proposed merger with Dixons Retail plc."

Both firms want to create a retailer that focuses on connected devices and services to pull in recurring revenues.

In other big tech company acquisition news, EU regulators will decide by July 30th whether to clear Apple’s $3 billion bid for headset vendor Beats.

Reuters reports that the EU will be making their decision about the Apple-Beats deal by the 30th of July

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