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UK: Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones in deal to acquire Jessops brand

09:24 01 February 2013

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Dragons' Den star Peter Jones

FAILED high street camera retailer Jessops has been snapped up by a group of buyers that includes Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones.

The deal has been agreed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which was appointed as administrator to the collapsed chain last month, but it is not known if the buyers will reopen any Jessops stores as part of the purchase.

Rob Hunt from PwC said: “We can confirm that we have sold the brand and certain other assets to a number of buyers including entrepreneur Peter Jones CBE.”

Jessops collapsed on January 9 and two days later administrators announced the closure of all 187 Jessops stores – which included branches in Ipswich Bury St Edmunds, Colchester, Lowestoft, Chelmsford, Cambridge and Norwich – and the loss of almost 1,500 jobs, including likely losses at the group’s head office in Leicester.

The camera giant was the first high-profile retail casualty of 2013, after suffering from online competition and a boom in camera phones in recent years, hitting demand for digital cameras.

Jessops had struggled since 2007, when it underwent a major overhaul with a swathe of store closures.

The firm began life in 1935 when Frank Jessop opened his first shop in Leicester.

Yesterday almost 190 jobs were axed at HMV in the first wave of redundancies following the stricken music and entertainment chain’s collapse.

HMV also went into administration last month, putting more than 4,120 jobs and 223 stores at risk.

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