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OpCapita-backed Comet calls in administrators

1 Nov 2012

OpCapita-backed electrical retailer Comet could put up to 6,000 jobs at risk by crashing into administration after suffering a “cash crunch” in the run-up to Christmas, it is understood.

The company has been trading without insurance that would protect suppliers if it folded, according to the Financial Times, which added terms from suppliers had become more strict in recent weeks following unsolicited approaches from potential buyers.

The report said Comet had mandated Deloitte to handle the administration process.

OpCapita bought the beleaguered chain from Anglo-French electrical giant Kesa for a nominal fee of £2 last November, with Kesa also providing a £50m investment into the firm’s Hailey 2 fund.

Kesa decided to shed the company from its holdings following a share slump early last year.

OpCapita is believed to have already cut about 1,500 jobs from Comet since taking over.

Earlier this year OpCapita stepped in to save the UK assets of retailer Game Group days after the company sank into administration.

The deal saved almost 3,200 jobs at the company, which had to close 277 of its 610 UK stores a month earlier after being unable to pay a £21m quarterly rent bill.

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