Kesa to keep pension after Comet sale


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Electrical retailer Comet's parent company, Kesa, is thought to be planning to retain the Comet pension fund to ease a sale of the struggling business. It has been in discussion with turnaround firm Hilco and private equity OpCapita to sell the 240 store chain.

The pension deficit of around £49m has been a sticking point of the sale as bidders were requesting a dowry of more than £150m to take on the firm. It is thought Kesa, after talks with the pension regulator, could agree to keep the scheme, paying into it over the next 10 years, while selling the Comet business separately.

Hilco and OpCapita are now vying for the chain without the pension scheme liability and are discussing the terms of a deal including a working capital dowry of around £50m.