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June 16, 2012 8:45 am
Charles Dunstone’s knighthood comes 23 years after he set up Carphone Warehouse with £6,000 in savings. He co-founded the group with a school friend in 1989 after dropping out of a business degree at Liverpool University.
Under Sir Charles’ tenure, Carphone Warehouse grew from operating out of a flat in Marylebone to become Europe’s largest independent mobile phone retailer, with 1,700 stores. The group floated in 2000 with a market capitalisation of £1.7bn, netting him a fortune of £635m. The group span out TalkTalk, its fixed line service, in 2010, with Sir Charles becoming chairman of both companies.
He enjoyed a £236m windfall in 2011 after Carphone Warehouse sold its stake in its US Best Buy tie-up for £838m, helping him become a billionaire.
The windfall came after a painful period for Carphone Warehouse, when the group’s attempts to crack the out-of-town electrical market failed, with the venture costing £80m.
Mr Dunstone still owns just under 30 per cent of the mobile phone retailer.
A New Labour supporter, who once chose Tony Blair as the person he most admired, Mr Dunstone quit his position on the board of the Daily Mail in February this year, leaving him with non-executive directorships of HBOS and Independent Media Distribution. He is also a chairman of the Prince’s Trust charity.
The 48-year old chairman of Carphone Warehouse, was knighted for his services to the mobile communications industry and to charity.
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