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Articles about Comet

Burnt-out Comet's VC backers are looking for more cash

The private equity firm involved in Comet's costly crash is back in the market and trying to convince financiers to part with hundreds of millions for a new investment fund. Henry Jackson, boss of OpCapita, the venture capitalist which paid £2 for the British retailer in November 2011 before sending it down in flames a year …
Paul Kunert, 11 Nov 2013
Square Group new premises

Comet brand yanked from its grave: Tycoon vows to open EIGHTY new stores

Electronics retail entrepreneur Clive Coombes is trying to revive the Comet brand name by launching 80 stores over the next two years - and is looking for foolhardy brave investors to support him. In his blog, written in the third person, Coombes, who tried but failed to buy Comet from administrator Deloitte, revealed he has …
Paul Kunert, 19 Aug 2013
Santa Claus on his laptop

Santa brings Dixons £31m profits as ghost of Comet is laid to rest

Christmas has come early for the bosses of Dixons Retail Group, which has announced an encouraging boost in profits and sales. Dixons, which also owns Currys and PC World, said its sales were up thanks to steady cutting of less profitable subsidiaries. In the UK and Ireland, operating profits surged up to £31.4m, five times the …
Team Register, 17 Dec 2013

Bolton biz kingpin tables '7 figure' offer for Comet website

The future of Comet's stores hangs in the balance: but the business brain behind Appliances Online has tabled a million pound plus bid for the website part of the drain-circling retailer. As previously revealed, Dixons and Maplins are understood to have expressed interest in only a handful of Comet stores as administrator …
Paul Kunert, 23 Nov 2012
Administration

Cawing retail vultures circle dying Comet, might rip some chunks off

Both bricks-and-mortar and web-based traders are looking to pick through the bones of sickened retail outfit Comet. The receivers Deloitte landed at Comet's doorstep on 2 November to take over operations and have set about cutting costs and finding buyers for the business, which is likely to be broken up. According to sources …
Paul Kunert, 14 Nov 2012
Comet_EV_01

Comet confesses: The receivers are among us even now

Comet has finally confirmed that administrative receivers will be landing on its door step early next week. It is understood that Deloitte will review the options for the ailing retailer which include selling it as a going concern, scaling it back or liquidating it. A spinner at the chain told The Channel: "Comet Group Limited …
Paul Kunert, 01 Nov 2012

Bargain! Desperate Comet SLASHES price of £4,400 iPod Nano

Comet has generously slashed 97 per cent off the price of an Apple iPod Nano, touting the pocket-stroker at £129 rather than an eye-watering, er, £4,444. Until now the chain's clearance sale may not have impressed deal-hungry shoppers, but this saving was sadly too good to be true. The photo below shows a standard Nano model on …
Paul Kunert, 09 Nov 2012
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Taxpayers to cough for Comet staff redundo

The last stores of the once mighty High Street giant Comet are to close by tomorrow but the saga looks set to continue, with taxpayers potentially having to step in to cover redundancy costs. Administrative receiver Deloitte, called in by the ailing retailer's parent Hailey Acquisitions Ltd on 2 November, had been holding talks …
Paul Kunert, 17 Dec 2012
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Cashless Comet to close 41 stores, axe 500 jobs

Collapsed electricals retailer Comet is to shutter 41 stores over the next fortnight, administrator Deloitte has confirmed. So far Dixons Retail and Maplin are among the rivals circling the fallen retailer, although it appears the two are interested in just a handful of stores. As a result the closing down process began at 27 …
Paul Kunert, 19 Nov 2012
axe_channel_teaser

Cash-strapped Comet sheds ANOTHER 735 staff

Penniless Comet handed P45s to 735 workers in a second round of cuts across the business today, administrator Deloitte has confirmed. The list of casualties includes 603 employees in the home delivery network, which operates 12 UK hubs and will continue with a skeletal staff, and 132 head office and support roles. The cull, the …
Paul Kunert, 19 Nov 2012
axe_channel_teaser

Comet administrator Deloitte triggers ejector seats under 330 staff

Comet administrator Deloitte has swung the axe for the first time since it was brought in to take control of operations with 330 support staff getting the chop. Biz advisory outfit Deloitte confirmed 99 staff at the Rickmansworth HQ, 53 from the operation in Hull and 42 in the call centre in Clevedon were told of their fate on …
Paul Kunert, 12 Nov 2012

Deloitte in the saddle at Comet, seeking stability - and a buyer

Deloitte said its first task as Comet's administrative receiver is to steady the ship and then seek anyone interested buying an ailing veteran retailer, hamstrung by huge overheads and facing fierce competition from leaner online rivals. Good luck with that. After days of industry chatter, Comet finally called in the receivers …
Paul Kunert, 05 Nov 2012
Comet_EV_01

Ailing Comet at last prayers: Cawing of accountants and VCs fills air

Beleaguered bricks and mortar retailer Comet is lurching toward administration with Deloite understood to be waiting in the wings. Parent Kesa Electricals offloaded Comet to OpCapita in November 2011 for a nominal fee of £2 but it was forced to hand over a £63m dowry for working capital purposes and retain the pension scheme. …
Paul Kunert, 01 Nov 2012
Comet_EV_01

Comet train set for SMASH, staff can only hope to be in right carriage

Penniless Comet's network of UK stores is on the brink of break up as staff enter a "collective consultation" over potential redundancies. In a letter to the electrical chain's workers, administrator Deloitte warned that if it is unable to sell the business as a going concern, it will be forced to flog bits and pieces to …
Paul Kunert, 15 Nov 2012
Wireless_Christmas_Tree

Comet staff should be for life, not just for Christmas

Dixons Retail is throwing a lifeline to beleaguered Comet staff awaiting the arrival of their P45s by offering some of them seasonal work in its PC World and Currys stores over the peak Christmas season. Administrator Deloitte took control of Comet late on Friday after the ailing retailer ran into insurmountable liquidity woes. …
Paul Kunert, 07 Nov 2012
dixons

Dixons feasts on corpse of Comet, chortles over 'slab bonanza

PC World and Currys helped steer sales growth at Dixons Retail in fiscal '13 ended 28 April against the background of a land grab for fallen Comet's trade and a boom in slablets. In a trading statement today - preliminary numbers are filed on 20 June - the retail mammoth said like-for-like Q4 sales climbed seven per cent on a …
Paul Kunert, 16 May 2013
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Comet crashes to Earth: 125 stores wiped out

Comet administrator Deloitte will shut 125 of the retail chain's stores, putting thousands of people out of work just before Christmas. The receiver, appointed at the start of this month, is unable to find a buyer for the business as a going concern. The closures will take place over the next fortnight, leaving about 70 outlets …
Paul Kunert, 28 Nov 2012
ho, ho, ho

Dixons steps over Comet's bloodied body to nab bonus Xmas sales

Blighty's High Street is in meltdown, but Dixons Retail bucked the gloomy trend and reported relatively decent sales growth over Christmas. The chain reckons it successfully hoovered up trade from fallen rivals. According to figures filed for the 12 weeks to 5 January, sales by the parent of Currys and PC World were up four per …
Paul Kunert, 17 Jan 2013
Windows 7 gurus

Not even Comet crashing into Earth can keep Dixons out of the red

Dixons Retail has reported massive losses due to one-off charges from the restructuring of PIXmania, and a reshuffle at its HQ following the sale of its B2B reseller operation Equanet. The LSE-listed group told the City this morning that it made pre-tax losses of £115.3m in the year to 30 April, albeit narrower than the £118.8m …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jun 2013
© Copyright Anthony O'Neil and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

UK gov probes Comet crash: Public, private sectors LOST £257m

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills plans to probe the administration of Comet, whose collapse has left the private and public sector out of pocket to the tune of £257m. The Insolvency Service is to launch the investigation after receiving numerous complaints from MPs just as the doors close on Comet's last 49 …
Paul Kunert, 18 Dec 2012
dixons

Dixons returns to profit in UK, rubs hands as Comet circles drain

Dixons Retail says it's positioned to capitalise on Comet's collapse as the firm returned to profit in the UK for the first time in five years. Group challenges still remain, however, with gadget souk PIXmania still performing "poorly" and those pesky penniless peeps in Southern Europe dragging numbers down. Pre-tax losses for …
Paul Kunert, 29 Nov 2012
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Current Comet owner hit with half year loss

Kesa Electricals, the for-the-moment owner of UK retailer Comet, has announced a loss for the first six months of the fiscal year, as consumer appetite for big electronics flags. The group made a loss before tax of €147.7m in the six months to the end of October this year, compared to a profit of €27.2m in the same period of …
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Comet sheds 450 jobs in biz survival struggle

Laid-up retailer Comet plans to axe 450 engineering and support workers, slashing costs and safeguarding "the long-term viability of the business", it said. The firm was finally sold a week ago to private equity house Op Capita for £2 with former parent Kesa Electricals also coughing £63m for a dowry, some £13m more than was …
Paul Kunert, 10 Feb 2012
channel

Comet cuts jobs as sales fall

Kesa Electrical – the owner of Comet – said today it is shutting distribution centres and laying off 150 staff after a quarter of falling sales. Kesa said the quarter ended 30 April 2011 saw Comet's like-for-like sales fall 15.2 per cent. Excluding a government-sponsored multi-media initiative which started in the fourth quarter …
John Oates, 11 May 2011
channel

Kesa shells out £50m to offload Comet

Kesa Electricals has coughed £50m to exit its loss-making UK retail arm Comet, with private equity firms Hailey Holdings and Hailey Acquisitions taking on the 248-strong chain. Under the terms of the deal, which is subject to shareholder approval, the buyers – who were advised by private equity house OpCapita – will pay a …
Paul Kunert, 09 Nov 2011
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Major Comet investor backs sale

Major Kesa Electricals' shareholder Knight Vinke will back the proposed sale of ailing retailer Comet providing it can be signed and sealed quickly with a decent return for investors. According to reports last weekend, the near 20 per cent stakeholder asked Comet parent Kesa to shelve plans to flog the business, which reported …
Paul Kunert, 06 Jul 2011
Comet Siding Spring. Pic: NASA

Why did Comet fail? Hint: It wasn't just the credit insurers

Comet's fiscal light was burning less brightly well before OpCapita entered its orbit, but the venture capitalist's involvement snuffed it out entirely. Signs that all was not well can be traced back to 2008, when Comet's profit before tax tumbled from £56m to £25m. In successive years it posted losses of £8m, £3m and finally £ …
Eddie Pacey, 22 Nov 2012
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Hungry bidders pick up Comet's blood trail

Restructuring specialists and private equity investors are among the suitors bidding to acquire flagging UK retailer Comet. According to reports in The Sunday Times, US investment house Gordon Brothers and Op Capita, one-time owner of Habitat and MFI tabled offers last week as the first round of the divestment process began. …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jul 2011
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Comet can't sell anything, including itself

Kesa Electricals has vowed to determine the future ownership of UK subsidiary Comet before Christmas, having failed so far to flog the business to interested parties. The European retailer today filed numbers for its fiscal first quarter – from the start of May to the end of July – with group sales down 10 per cent. However …
Paul Kunert, 15 Sep 2011
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Comet in bad way after big losses

Comet is consolidating warehouses, service centres, shedding jobs at HQ and setting plans in motion to close or flog a load of stores after reporting substantial losses today. The UK arm of parent Kesa Electricals saw sales drop nearly seven per cent in constant currency to €1.8bn (£1.53bn) and posted losses of €10.3m (£8.9m) …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jun 2011
grab_that_cash

Credit insurance: The hidden data-driven force which killed Comet

A quick look at what happened to high street electronics retailer Comet when its credit insurers slammed their wallets shut should be enough to get any IT business interested in cash-flow, insurance and credit lines. But while credit and cash-flow are often seen as stale subjects, they can be the lifeblood of business - almost …
Eddie Pacey, 16 Nov 2012
Santa Claus on his laptop

Boxing Day sales bubble boosts Dixons - but don't hit the champers just yet

UK saps shoppers spent more than £100,000 a minute at Dixons Retail during the Boxing Day sales helping to drag it into growth during the Christmas quarter for the second consecutive year. But CEO Sebastian James held off talking up any recovery given the torrid time that many electronics retailers have faced in the past four …
Paul Kunert, 16 Jan 2014

Not so FAST: Another discount software broker BOOTED OUT

A second software licence broker has been kicked out of the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) in what appears to be a crackdown against those selling its members' software at discounted rates. Value Licensing has had its application for renewed membership FAST turned down, it has told The Reg. The company specialises in …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Feb 2014
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Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse mull merger

Dixons and Carphone Warehouse (CPW) today confirmed they are locked in negotiations that may or may not lead to a merger. "These discussions are at a preliminary stage and there can be no certainty that a transaction will be forthcoming," the pair said in a joint statement this morning. As such, no decision has been made …
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2014

'Zombie hunter' task force unleashed on the UK tech biz

A special force of crack zombie hunters swings into action today to rid old Blighty of the shuffling scourge of undead firms surviving only to pay the interest on debts. The mission of the task force, whose formation was revealed by The Channel last month, is to build a profile of private equity backed businesses in the IT …
Paul Kunert, 13 May 2013

Have PIXmania. In fact, have £59m with it too, Dixons tell German VCs

Dixons Retail has forked out £59m to convince German venture capitalist mutares AG to take loss-making web shop PIXmania off its hands. And so ends the retail firm's costly flirtation with the online gadget souk seven years after it coughed €266m for a 77 per cent stake in the biz and a little over a year after it bought the …
Paul Kunert, 27 Sep 2013

Credit insurer sets up 'task force' in wake of enormo UK IT biz failures

Trade credit insurer Atradius is setting up a specialist task force to analyse UK channel companies that have a high debt-to-assets ratio or have VC backing in the wake of recent high-profile and costly failures. As world + dog knows, High Street giant Comet hit the wall in December owing creditors £257m, costing the UK …
Paul Kunert, 15 Apr 2013
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

62,000 fewer shops: Welcome to the High Street of 2018

Tens of thousands of UK retailers will go pop over the next five years, leaving hundreds of thousands of their employees scratching about for work, says the Centre of Retail Research (CRR). In a particularly bleak forecast, the sector-watcher says close to 62,000 of the near 282,000 outlets currently open for business in Blighty …
Paul Kunert, 29 May 2013
Game logo

Game chain sold

UK High street retailer Game has been acquired by Comet owner OpCapita. The Game Group's administrator, PwC, yesterday said it had agreed to sell the troubled company's UK business to Baker Acquisitions Ltd, an entity overseen by OpCapita, for an undisclosed sum. The move takes The Game Group's UK operation out of …
Caleb Cox, 02 Apr 2012
Northamber

Veteran distie Northamber swings to loss, sales dive by 22%

LSE-listed Northamber blamed the economy and cost-cutting on the part of IT vendors for a massive slide in sales and the return to losses at the halfway stage in its fiscal 2013. The oldest IT distie in Blighty said turnover fell to £41.5m in the six months to 31 December from £53.8m in the same period a year earlier, …
Paul Kunert, 27 Feb 2013

Allied Telesis terminates Northamber contract

Veteran distributor Northamber has been given the boot by Allied Telesis because it failed to do the numbers, The Channel's sources have claimed. Northamber's marching orders came last Friday, giving the distie 60 days to sell off the remainder of stock held at its warehouse in Weybridge. The typical process is for a 90 day …
Paul Kunert, 10 Jul 2013
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Comet goes head-to-head with Geek Squad

Comet has bumped up its eagerness to offer IT support to UK home users and small businesses, with the nationwide launch today of its "Comet On Call" service. The electrical retailer, which has 250 stores throughout Britain, has been quietly operating the service since March 2007 in Bristol, Oxford, Banbury and Hereford. But it …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Jun 2007

CSI coughs for K3's SAP biz

Private-equity-backed Computer Systems Integration (CSI) has acquired the customer list of K3 BTG's SAP Business Objects Maintenance division for an undisclosed sum. Venture capitalist Blackhawk Capital, one-time owner of Microsoft LAR Teksys - which it sold to Di Data in 2009, bought CSI last October as the first in a roll-up …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2013

UK's dead monster iPad gumble-maker COMES BACK TO LIFE

It's been quite a post-Easter week for the Brit firm behind iPhone and iPad accessories maker GEAR4: it went into administration, axed most of its UK workforce, and has risen again in Hong Kong. Disruptive Ltd, which makes wireless speakers, docks and a range of Angry Birds accessories stocked at all major UK consumer …
Paul Kunert, 23 Apr 2013

Fanboi droves use iPads to buy more iPads on Black Friday

Apple's iPad was used by one in every 10 online shoppers on Black Friday, according to IBM's Holiday Benchmark report. Continuing the trend of opening the supposed sales extravaganza earlier, online shopping grew 17.4 per cent on Thanksgiving compared to the same day a year earlier and Black Friday online sales were up 20.7 per …
Paul Kunert, 26 Nov 2012
Newsweek Zombies

Time to rid ourselves of the tech channel zombies

One thing is certain, we’re all going to die at some point while encountering high and low points along the way. Life is a journey, with no guaranteed time of departure. And business is no different. The loss of names such as Woolworth, Clinton, Jessop, Comet, HMV and now Blockbuster may be sad, but it’s also part of the journey …
Eddie Pacey, 12 Feb 2013
channel

High Street chains vow to play fair on warranties

UK retailers have offered a number of concessions after the Office of Fair Trading had a word about their extended warranties on electrical goods. Dixons, Comet and Argos have all told the OFT, which was worried about unfair competition, that they will set up a warranty comparison website and provide punters with more …
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More Brits desert high streets to spend £50bn online

Evidence of the agonising demise of Blighty's high streets piled up today as comparison website Kelkoo announced that UK e-sales jumped 14 per cent to nearly £50bn last year. The average Brit web shopper spent about £1,400 online, picking out 39 items, in 2011 - and Kelkoo is predicting that's going to rise again this year. …
channel

Comet to make 'small loss'

There was more depressing news from the high street today as Kesa Electricals - Europe's third largest electrical retailing group - reported that its Comet chain is expected to make a small loss for the first half of the year. Sales for the three months to the end of April at UK-based Comet dipped 1.6 per cent to £316.7m with …
Tim Richardson, 25 May 2005
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Mini retail empire Micro Anvika implodes, one shop to be shopped

The administrator of Micro Anvika is continuing to trade the operation out of two stores on London's Tottenham Court Road - one of which will close within weeks - as it mulls over offers for the remnants of the retailer. Back in late September, management at the veteran retailer called in business advisory service and insolvency …
Paul Kunert, 12 Nov 2012

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