Private equity house BC Partners has bought mobiles specialist Phones4U for an undisclosed sum from Providence Equity.

Phones4U, which has 500 shops and generated sales last year of £900m, is expected to be a beneficiary of the booming smartphone market in the coming years and BC said it would invest in the retailer to maximise its growth potential.

BC Partners managing partner Andrew Newington said:  “With its market leading position, strong and trusted brand, multi-format strategy, and extensive store network, Phones4U is ideally positioned to benefit from further strong growth in the smartphone market, as technological innovation and product evolution continues.”

Phones4U chief executive Tim Whiting said: “Phones 4u is a truly unique brand with a great store platform. I am confident that we can continue to provide our customers the very best products and deals with outstanding service.”

Providence managing director Gustavo Schwed said: “Over the last four and a half years, we have worked to increase the value of the business in partnership with Phones 4u’s outstanding management team.

“Together we extended the Company’s leading position in the UK mobile phone distribution market, particularly in the youth segment, grew its high street presence and maintained consistent, high cash flow generation.”

The transaction is expected to be formally completed in April.