Directors of Kesa and their advisers at Bank of America Merrill Lynch were deciding which Comet bidders should go through to the second stage.

There was interest in proceedings from restructuring specialists GA Capital and Hilco, and turnaround private equity firms OpCapita – where former Dixons director David Hamid is an operating partner – and Weight Partners, run by Jim Weight, a one-time director of Comet’s former owner Kingfisher.

Despite reports that OpCapita submitted a joint offer with restructuring firm Gordon Brothers, that is not the case. Gordon Brothers is understood only to be acting as an adviser on stock valuation.

No trade buyers have been linked to a Comet deal, although it is likely groups such as Dixons and Best Buy may be interested in some stores in the event of a restructuring.