Comet-owner Kesa is understood to be planning to retain the Comet pension fund to enable a sale of the embattled electricals chain.

It is thought that, after talks with the pensions regulator, Kesa could agree to keep the scheme -  paying into it over the next 10 years – while selling Comet separately, according to the Independent on Sunday.

Kesa has been in talks with restructuring firm Hilco and private equity firm OpCapita abut selling the retailer, but the pensions liabilities were becoming a stumbling block, it is thought.