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Collapse of Comet electrical chain may lead to £50m bill
1:50pm Monday 17th December 2012 in News
THE collapse of electrical chain Comet could leave the taxpayer facing a £50 million bill.
Today its administrator Deloitte is expected to reveal insufficient funds have been raised to cover up to £24 million in redundancy payments to 6,000 staff, meaning the Government may have to step in to ensure workers receive their payments.
A total of 14 stores, including the store in Blackpole Retail Park, Worcester, and the Crossley Retail Park in Kidderminster, traded for the last time on Saturday.
Deloitte’s statement will also disclose that unsecured creditors, including HM Revenue & Customs, which is owed £26.1 million, will receive nothing.
Secured creditors, such as the backers of Comet's parent company Hailey Acquisitions, will get payments of just under £50 million.
The chain reportedly racked up losses of £95 million in the year to April, followed by a further £31 million in the subsequent five months as credit insurers lost confidence and withdrew support for the business.
An estimated £40 million of payments will be made to suppliers and £2.1 million of holiday and back pay owed to staff will be paid in full.
The 236 chain fell into administration last month and the last 50 stores will close for the final time tomorrow, with speculation the brand will be sold to an online retailer and about 20 shops picked up by rivals.
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