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Comet caves in

November 1, 2012

UK electrical retailer Comet is to go into receivership next week jeopardising 6,500 jobs.

Private equity firm OpCapita, which owns the 240-store business, has lined up restructuring specialist Deloitte to act as administrator. OpCapita bought Comet last year for just £2, plus a £50 million dowry from its French owners Kesa Electricals.

Two weeks ago, OpCapita, said it was examining a number of potential bids for the retailer.

Shares of Comet’s rivals rose on news of the planned administration, with Dixons Retail, which owns PC World and Currys, jumping 15 per cent as investors speculated that a major competitor could be removed from the market.

America’s Best Buy recently pulled the plug on 11 giant electrical stores after failing to make inroads into the UK market.

Comet was founded in 1933 as a business charging batteries for wireless sets. It opened its first store in 1968, in Hull, and was bought by Kingfisher in 1984, which expanded the Comet brand into one of the most familiar names on the High Street.

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