Electricals market leader Dixons and mobile technology specialist Carphone Warehouse have revealed they are in merger talks.
Dixons and Carphone Warehouse have each issued Stock Exchange statements disclosing that their boards are in preliminary discussions, but there is no certainty that a deal will ultimately be concluded.
The pair have until 5pm on March 24 to announce a firm intention by either to make an offer, but that deadline can be extended with agreement of the regulatory authorities.
A tie-up between Carphone and Dixons, which owns the Currys and PC World chains, would be in stark contrast to the pair’s previous rivalry.
Carphone previously threw down the gauntlet to Dixons by striking up a relationship with US giant Best Buy. Carphone and Best Buy believed they could revolutionise UK electricals retail by opening giant stores designed to be more customer-centric than established UK electricals groups Dixons and Comet.
However, under the leadership of then chief executive John Browett, Dixons was successfully overhauled and Best Buy beat the retreat back to the US.