Kesa disposes of loss-making retailer Comet for £2

Kesa Electricals has sold off loss-making electricals chain Comet to an investment firm for just £2 in yet another indication of the turmoil on the UK high street.

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The retailer, which reported a 19% drop in sales for the first half of the year, has been bought by a group of companies called Hailey, who are being advised by turnaround specialists OpCaptia.

Kesa will also invest £50m into the holding company, which will mean it will benefit from any future sale of the chain, but only if the resale price is more than £70m.

Comet’s new owners are likely to accelerate Kesa’s turnaround strategy for the retailer, which includes the closure of some of its 250 stores and maximising the use of its new website in a bid to increase profit margins. It is not yet clear whether the new investors will look to make further job cuts or store closures.

The retailer recently revamped its brand logo and launched a TV campaign with new strapline “Come and Play” in a bid to attract more consumers into its stores, although sales continued to fall.

On Monday (7 November) Carphone Warehouse announced it was to close all of its 11 Best Buy UK electricals stores less than two years after launching in the territory.

Rival electrical retailer Dixons, owner of Currys and PC World, also reported ailing sales in the 12 weeks to 23 July, down 7%.

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