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(Pocket-lint) - In a dramatic twist in the Phones 4u saga, one of the networks partly blamed for the collapse of Phones 4u is to buy 140 of the deceased company's stores and save 900 employees' jobs up and down the UK.

Vodafone had a big accepted for the closed high street shops, which it made after being approached by Phones 4u's administrator. It plans to rebrand the stores and engage with employees as soon as possible.

In a statement sent to Pocket-lint, the operator claimed that this will be an important step in its growth plans. "Vodafone UK today confirmed that it was approached by the Phones4U administrator and decided to make an offer to buy 140 of its stores as a way to accelerate our retail expansion programme and save hundreds of jobs," it said.

"Our offer was accepted by the administrator and we are pleased to report that approximately 900 former Phones4U employees will keep their jobs and join our dynamic retail business. Subject to court approval, we will start engaging with these employees and begin the rebranding of the stores to Vodafone as soon as possible."

Although profitable, Phones 4u was plunged into administration last week when first Vodafone and then EE decided to end their relationships with the high street retailer. O2 and Three had already pulled away from the brand earlier in the year, so the latter two's withdrawal left the company with no major network on its books.

As many as 6,000 employees were thought to face redundancy, but Currys & PC World confirmed that it would be retaining 800 Phones 4u workers who were previously employed by the company to work in its store-in-store outlets. Now Vodafone's move means that a total of around 1,500 are safe.

That does, of course, mean that 4,500 others are still on the job trail, but the Dixons Carphone group has asked them to apply for positions in Carphone Warehouse stores. An extra 1,500 jobs are thought to be up for grabs.

Writing by Rik Henderson.