DSG drops high street comms chain

Dixons Stores Group, the owners of UK technology chains PC World, Currys and Dixons, has agreed to sell its stake in high street communications chain The Link to O2
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The Link was a joint venture between DSG and mobile phone operator O2 - now owned by Spanish telco giant Telefonica - with DSG owning 60 per cent of the chain. DSG is selling it for around £30 million in cash, marking the latest stage in a dramatic strategic shift for the group.

In April 2006 the Dixons brand was completely removed from the high street and transformed into a purely online brand. This shift away from the high street and towards the internet was further confirmed by the purchase of Fotovista, owners of Pixmania - the camera etailer.

The sale of The Link marks a further move in that direction. Chief executive John Clare commented: "The competitive landscape for mobile phones, initially a retail market, has changed significantly and has become a market in which the profit opportunities can best by leveraged by the networks and telecom services providers. The sale of The Link will enable us to focus on our core multi-channel electrical and computing formats as we pursue our leadership ambitions across Europe."

The stockmarket reacted negatively to the news, with DSG shares being this morning’s big fallers - dropping over 2 per cent to 189p. The fall was also influenced by the group’s disappointing sales figures.

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