Comet calls in administrator

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Electrical retailer Comet is calling in administrators less than a year after being taken over by private equity firm OpCapita.

In April, Comet awarded a £100m five year contract to Norbert Dentressangle to handle its UK warehousing and distribution.

A statement from Comet said: “Comet Group Limited can confirm that it has today taken steps to seek the protection of the court with a view to the company entering into administration during week commencing 5th November 2012. In the meantime the board is urgently working with its advisers to seek a solution to secure a viable future for the company.”

OpCapita bought Comet, which had been struggling in the weak retail market, for £2 from Kesa Electricals in February 2012. It brought in John Clare, the former Dixons chief to turn it around.

Comet has more than 2,960,000 sq ft of selling space across 241 stores throughout the UK, along with its on-line channel which offers the retailer’s complete range of home electricals for ‘click and collect’ or home delivery.

Under the contract, Dentressangle is responsible for managing all activities at Comet’s RDCs in Skelmersdale and Harlow, including receipt, put-away, store picking, despatch and returns management.

It uses a dedicated fleet of around 50 tractors and 160, mainly double-deck, trailers, handling all transport out of the two RDCs, along with outbases in Scotland and the South West.

Comet’s main rival, Dixons Retail which owns Currys and PC World, saw it shares rise 16 per cent following the announcement.

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