The sale of electricals retailer Comet looks increasingly unlikely to go ahead as it understood the two remaining potential bidders are seeking a dowry in the region of £150m-£200m.

According to the Financial Times, the dowry is considered necessary by the two parties to compensate for pension liabilities and working capital concerns.

Sources told the paper that Comet’s parent Kesa is likely to balk at the level of compensation being demanded. Kesa may well  keep the chain and concentrate on turning around the loss-making business.

Restructuring firm Hilco and private equity group OpCapita both submitted proposals this week but the auction process has been extended. It was originally expected to go to final bids last Friday.

Citigroup downgraded its recommendation on Kesa this week from hold to sell, forecasting that “sharply weakened” sales trends will cause Comet to triple its losses to £30m this year.