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Best Buy Buys Carphone Chain

5/19/2008 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Best Buy plans to open its first European stores through a 50-50 joint venture planned with its British wireless partner The Carphone Warehouse.

Under terms of the deal, Best Buy will spend $2.1 billion to acquire a 50 percent interest in Carphone's 2,400 European stores, its Geek Squad operations in the United Kingdom and Spain, its online and direct businesses, its insurance operations and its airtime reselling businesses.

The venture also covers Best Buy's planned European stores and Best Buy Mobile, the partners' two-year-old joint U.S. wireless effort which is being rolled out to all U.S. Best Buy locations this year.

Carphone will continue to own 100 percent of its fixed-line telecoms business in the United Kingdom — comprising TalkTalk, AOL Broadband and Opal — and its share of the Virgin Mobile France joint venture. Separately, Best Buy will continue to hold its 2.9 percent stake in Carphone.

For more on the deal check www.TWICE.com