Jessops hires new chief executive

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The Independent Online

The ailing camera retailer Jessops has hired a new chief executive for its retail business, in a move that is likely to assuage fears over its short-term future.

Jessops confirmed the appointment of Trevor Moore, a former operations director at Coffee Republic, who will assume responsibility for its store operations from September. It is understood that Mr Moore will not sit on the main board of Jessops.

Mr Moore’s has also done stints at Thresher Group, Whitbread, Phones 4U, HSBC and most recently SelectProperty. Yesterday, Jessops, which has net debts of £61.7m, said it expects to post a pre-tax loss this financial year. Jessops is poised to complete a rescue deal with its bank HSBC within weeks.

The retailer has been in talks with HSBC, which holds warrants over 15 per cent of its shares, since January and one of the options being considered is a debt-for-equity swap.

The retailer yesterday said: "The group continues to engage with its advisers and its bankers HSBC Bank to put the business on a more stable footing for the future, including discussions on a fundamental restructuring of its debt." Jessops also reaffirmed previous comments that shareholders are likely to be wiped out because of its high debt.

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