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Comet hurtling towards administration


Deloitte to act as administrator for owners OpCapita

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Electronics retailer Comet is heading into administration effective next week with 6,500 jobs potentially at risk.

A spokesperson confirmed the move to CFOWorld on Thursday adding that the “urgent” priority was to secure the retailer’s future.

“Customers and prospective customers should note that it is business as usual until further notice. We intend to fulfil all delivery and product commitments for merchandise and equipment which has already been paid for by end customers,” he added.

Comet also confirmed that advisory firm Deloitte would act as the administrator and help its private equity owners OpCapita restructure the 240-store business.

Deloitte has also stressed that it will run Comet as “a going concern” while it makes appropriate assessments pertaining to sales, closures and liquidation. Comet had operational losses of around £34.6 million in 2011.

OpCapita bought the beleaguered retailer in February 2011 from Kesa Electricals for a mere £2. However, it failed to turn Comet’s fortunes around in the current macroeconomic climate. A fortnight ago OpCapita, said it was examining a number of potential bids for the retailer.

Though founded in 1933 as a battery supplier, Comet opened its first store in Hull in 1968 before growing into a retail chain. It was bought by Kingfisher in 1984, but has had further changes in ownership in recent years without a turnaround in fortunes.

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Comet hurtling towards administration
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