Thousands fear losing their job as Comet faces collapse
Thousands of jobs are at risk as Comet, the 240-store electricals retailer, is poised to appoint an accountancy firm as administrator just nine months after the UK chain was bought for a token £2.
The chain's owner Opcapita, the private investment firm, is understood to have lined up Deloitte as administrator for Comet after the retailer's financial situation deteriorated ahead of the peak Christmas trading period. Though Comet has struggled to get credit insurance since Opcapita bought the UK chain from Kesa Electricals (now renamed Darty) in February, insurers are thought to have further withdrawn cover for the retailer's suppliers in recent weeks.
Comet could file a notice of intention to appoint Deloitte as administrator as early as today, which would give it 10 working days' protection from creditors to hammer out a rescue deal or implement a formal insolvency.
If Comet, which is the UK's second biggest electricals chain, did collapse, it would, in effect, leave Dixons Retail, the owner of Currys and PC World, as the last man standing with more than 500 stores in the UK market.
Even if Comet is rescued, a new owner is likely to buy it out of a pre-packaged administration. Reports emerged last month that Opcapita was considering selling Comet after it received unsolicited offers.
However, sources believe these were only for parts of the business, such as its website, brand or a small number of stores. It is likely that big retailers, such as one of the grocers, will buy some of Comet's biggest, profitable stores but swaths of shops are expected to close. This raises the possibility of a stock liquidation sale ahead of Christmas, with Comet's stock estimated to be worth about £120m.
John Clare, the former boss of Dixons, is Comet's chairman.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...