LONDON Nov 2 British electrical retailer Comet
has gone into administration and audit group Deloitte is now
seeking a buyer to try to save jobs at the latest UK store chain
to fall victim to the consumer downturn.
Deloitte said on Friday that it had been appointed
administrator to Comet, confirming the company's statement on
Thursday that it was set to enter administration.
"Our immediate priorities are to stabilise the business,
fully assess its financial position, and begin an urgent process
to seek a suitable buyer which would also preserve jobs,"
Deloitte's Neville Kahn, joint administrator and restructuring
services partner, said in a statement.
Directors of the struggling company, which employs 6,500
staff in 240 stores, filed a notice on Thursday to a British
A raft of other British retailers have also fallen into
administration this year, including Clinton Cards, Game Group,
Peacocks and Aquascutum, as the double-dip recession took its
toll on consumer spending.
Administration is a legal move which provides companies with
breathing space to discuss any possible survival plan with their
Deloitte said Comet would continue to trade and staff would
be paid "in the meantime".
Comet, which analysts estimate has a 6 percent UK market
share, was acquired by private investment firm OpCapita for a
nominal 2 pounds from Darty (then known as Kesa
Electricals) in February, with Darty paying OpCapita a 50
million pounds ($81 million) dowry to take the loss-making
business off its hands.
Comet ran into trouble when suppliers tightened their terms
as the firm attempted to reach its peak stock requirement ahead
of Christmas. Trading without the credit insurance that protects
suppliers meant it had to pay cash up front for goods.