The proposed sale of Comet has hit a stumbling block because its prospective buyer has not yet secured a key part of its financing.
According to The Times, investment firm OpCapita is yet to secure the £40m asset-backed loan it requires. Discussions are still ongoing with Comet’s suppliers - some of the world’s largest electricals manufacturers - regarding the loan against Comet’s stock.
Kesa, current owner, has an option to call off the sale and penalise OpCapita, fining it £30m if it fails to obtain the financing.
When the deal was announced, Kesa said OpCapita has secured the loan through Burdale, a specialist in asset backed financing.
However, Burdale said it has played no part in the transaction.
The £40m loan is part of a £120m arrangement, alongside a £50m dowry from Kesa and £30m equity from OpCapita. It is understood OpCapita has lined up potential lenders and are still in discussions to get the best terms, but nothing has yet been agreed.
Suppliers including Samsung, Sony and Whirlpool are unlikely to be willing to supply an independent Comet on the same terms as they did when it was part of the large electricals group Kesa.
Comet’s performance has worsened in recent years in a tough electricals market that has prompted US giant Best Buy to exit the UK. Comet was sold to OpCapita for £2 in November.