Dragons' Den's Peter Jones buys Jessops to run as online outfit

Entrepreneur has not bought any of the chain's physical stores

Peter Jones, the giant star of the BBC's Dragons' Den series, has acquired the brand of Jessops, the collapsed camera retailer, out of administration.

The high-profile entrepreneur has bought Jessops to run it as a purely online retailer of camera and photography equipment and has not bought any of the chain’s 187 stores, which all closed just two days after it hired PwC as administrator last month.

Mr Jones, who made his fortune in mobile devices and stands at six foot 7 inches, has been a fixture on the BBC’s entrepreneur’s show since 2005 and has an estimated personal fortune of £402m.

He is likely to have paid a multi-pound sum for the Jessops’ brand, but financial details were not disclosed. The move by Mr Jones follows Shop Direct, the home shopping group, acquiring Woolworths to run it as an online-only brand in early 2009. The administration of Jessops was quickly followed by the collapse of the entertainment chain HMV and the DVD rental firm Blockbuster in January, capping a dreadful month for thousands of high street staff who lost their jobs.

Jessops, which had employed 2,000 staff, had called in PwC after struggling for years against the inexorable shift to consumers buying cameras online or simply using their smartphones for taking pictures.

The retailer had only narrowly avoided collapse in 2009 by implementing a painful debt-for-equity swap which saw its main bank, HSBC, take a 47 per cent stake. Jessops made a loss of £5.2m in the year to January 2012.

Mr Jones, who has five children, two pigs and a “field full of cows”, is reported to have made £38m in 2011 from the sale of his telecoms firm Wireless Logic, which he had only paid £250,000 for in 2002.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

Sheridan Maine: Finance Analyst

Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor