Neville Kahn to lead Comet administration

by Rachael Singh

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02 Nov 2012

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Lobby at Deloitte offices

DELOITTE PARTNER Neville Kahn has been lined up to lead the administration of electrical retailer Comet.

Comet owners OpCapita filed a notice to appoint Deloitte administrators this week with Kahn set to lead the team, Accountancy Age understands. The retailer has ten days to appoint administrators.

Kahn has previously worked on high-profile administrations such as Woolworths, Enron Europe and Mosaic group, which sold its four brands – Coast, Oasis, Warehouse and Karen Millen – to Aurora Fashions.

Following reports last week that trade credit insurers (TCIs) had withdrawn from the business, the company is seeking an insolvency process. TCIs insure the payment of goods to suppliers should the retailer collapse.

Without trade credit insurance, suppliers ask for payment of goods up front, which cause severe cash-flow difficulties.

Comet would be the biggest retailer collapse since Woolworths in 2008. It would also dwarf the largest administration so far this year, in terms of redundancies. The retailer employs about 7,000 staff across its 243 stores. The largest collapse in terms of redundancies this year was Peacocks and Bonmarche which saw 4,500 staff laid off.

Private investment company OpCapita bought Comet in February from Kesa for £2 but took on a £50m dowry left by the previous owner. However, it was recently reported that OpCapita was looking to sell the retailer, sparking the withdrawal of trade credit insurers. 

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