Barclay brothers join bidders for Comet assets
Shop Direct, the home shopping group owned by the Barclay brothers, is considering acquiring the brand and website of the failed electricals retailer, Comet, which is to start closing some stores next week.
A host of retailers – including the discounter B&M Bargains, the single price retailer 99p Stores, and the homewares chain Dunelm – are among those looking to buy parcels of Comet's shops on both short and long-term leases from the administrator, Deloitte.
The 236-store chain collapsed into administration last week just nine months after it had been acquired by OpCapita, the private investment firm whose chief executive is Henry Jackson, for a token £2.
Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay's Shop Direct is among a number of groups that have registered an interest in acquiring Comet's website and brand.
The company, which owns the Littlewoods, isme and Very brands, bought the Woolworths brand from Deloitte in early 2009 and relaunched the collapsed pick 'n' mix chain as an online player.
A Shop Direct spokesman said yesterday: "We are always looking at new opportunities," but he declined to comment on Comet.
While Deloitte continues to talk to parties interested in parts of Comet, the accountancy firm launched a "massive stock liquidation" yesterday. GA Europe, the retail restructuring firm, is running the stock clearance.
OpCapita's purchase of Comet has been highly controversial as the firm and its backers could make money from the liquidation, which could deliver up to £50m.
Deloitte is poised to start closing some of Comet's stores next week, which will result in redundancies among the retailer's 6,600 staff.
The pets accessories chain Pets at Home, the discounter Home Bargains and the single-price retailer Poundland are eyeing some of Comet's portfolio on both six-month and long-term leases. While grocery chains, such as Waitrose and Aldi, are thought to have registered an interest in a small number of Comet's shops, the main drive has come from non-food chains.
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 2 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital in London where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Nepal earthquake: Rescuers forced to dig with their bare hands in search for survivors as images show damage to historic buildings
Ed Miliband and Boris Johnson in angry clash live on BBC's Andrew Marr Show
Bali Nine executions: British grandmother on death row in Indonesia Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
iJobs Money & Business
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...