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UK: Comet administrators ‘in talks with interested parties’ as 330 job losses announced

17:05 09 November 2012

A sale at a branch of Comet in north London

A sale at a branch of Comet in north London

ADMINISTRATORS called in to collapsed electrical retail chain Comet say they are in talks with a number of interested parties as efforts continue to salvage the business.

But the joint administrators from Deloitte announced that 330 staff of Comet’s 6,600 staff, mostly those in involved in head office functions, are being made redundant. Meanwhile, all 236 Comet stores, including at Ipswich, where 24 staff are employed, Colchester, where there are 20, and Bury St Edmunds, which has 11, will continue to trade as normal.

There have been no redundancies at Comet stores or distribution centres, as stores continue to trade as normal, and there are no further redundancies planned at this stage, they said.

“It has regrettably been necessary to make 330 employees redundant, the majority of whom work in head office and central functions, such as finance and marketing, in Rickmansworth (99) and Hull (53), or the call centre in Clevedon (42),” said Deloitte.

“The announcement was made to affected staff in meetings this afternoon, and every effort is being made to contact affected employees who are not currently on site at the earliest opportunity.

“All employees who have been made redundant will be paid in full for wages accrued during the Administration, and the Administrators will provide assistance in claiming redundancy payments from the government’s Redundancy Payments Office.”

Neville Kahn, Joint Administrator, said: “All 236 Comet stores continue to trade as normal, and staff will continue to be paid for the work they do while Comet is trading in Administration. We remain extremely grateful to the staff and management for their continued loyalty and support at what is clearly a very difficult time.

“We are in discussions with a number of parties who have expressed interest in parts of the business and we continue to work hard to preserve jobs. An in-store sale across all stores commenced yesterday, and will continue through the coming weeks. We are pleased with the response so far, as the discounts have helped generate record levels of sales.”

Neville Kahn, Nick Edwards and Chris Farrington of Deloitte, the business advisory firm, were appointed Joint Administrators to Comet on Friday, November 2.

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