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By | Tim Richardson 8th September 2005 15:10

Dixons plays down The Link sale speculation

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Dixons has played down reports that it would be happy to flog its majority stake in mobile phone outfit The Link.

The Link is owned by Dixons (60 per cent) and mobile operator O2 (40 per cent).

Press reports today suggested that chief exec John Clare would be "open to offers" for someone to buy Dixons' 60 per cent stake in the business.

But a spokesman for the retailer rubbished the reports insisting that the retailer is backing The Link.

Indeed, the company has made no secret of the fact that it would be prepared to buy out O2's 40 per cent stake although so far the cellco has rejected any approach.

Furthermore, the deal between the two companies means that either side gets first refusal for buying The Link and either side can also veto any third-party sale.

Yesterday, Dixons revealed it is continuing to suffer from the effects of weak consumer spending in the UK and remains "cautious".

Publishing figures for the 16 weeks trading to August, the retailer revealed that like-for-like sales in the UK were down 3 per cent, hit hard by a dip in demand for items such as washing machines and fridges, and falling hardware prices for computers and communications kit.

The bright spot for Dixons came from its expanding overseas operations where it saw sales rise 5 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Oh, and Dixons shareholders also approved the company's change of name from Dixons Group plc to DSG international plc. ®

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