Comet suitor Clive Coombes remains “hopeful” a deal can be struck to save a large proportion of the beleaguered electricals retailer’s store estate.
Coombes told Retail Week: “We are hopeful a deal can be done. Until we get the numbers crunched we can’t be any more confident.”
His talks with administrator Deloitte are expected to conclude this week as the parties attempt to thrash out a deal for a slimmed down estate.
Coombes is also interested in Comet’s website and brand and it is understood DRL and Shop Direct will only be allowed to bid for both if a deal with Coombes falls through.
However, a source close to Comet said: “A deal is highly unlikely, everybody who has been interested has fallen down over the amount of working capital needed. Even a 50-store chain would need £20m-£30m to run it.”
Coombes is reportedly backed by investors in the UK and the US.
More than 2,200 staff have left or been made redundant since Comet collapsed into administration last month. Some 47 stores have already shut and a further 10 will be closed before the weekend.
A further 53 stores are due to close over the weekend and on Monday. The bulk of Comet stores are expected to close next week. Their locations have been confirmed today.
All stores will be closed by December 18 unless a deal is reached.
Coombes added: “I feel very sorry for the staff. They have been hung out to dry. It’s a 70-year-old company and we wanted to make it to 100 years old.”
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