Kesa could keep an economic interest in Comet, the embattled electricals chain it has put up for sale, under a proposal being discussed with private equity firm OpCapita.
Retail Week has learned that while Kesa could sell Comet in its entirety to bidders OpCapita and Hilco, it is also mulling a separate deal, whereby it would keep an “economic interest” in Comet as part of any sale to OpCapita.
The deal would ensure Kesa was able to share in any upside if Comet was restored to profitability.
It is not known what the deal would look like structurally, but it could involve Kesa having a share in equity.
Sources told Retail Week that Kesa is considering all three options under plans to sell the chain. Reports had indicated that Kesa was expected to choose a preferred bidder this week, but sources said this is highly unlikely, and that Kesa was taking its time over the sale process.
Any deal has been complicated by the pensions deficit at Comet, and Kesa is understood to be considering paying a £200m dowry to offload the chain.
Hilco intends to appoint Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones as chairman of Comet if it acquires the retailer.
John Clare, the former chief executive of Dixons Retail, is understood to be advising OpCapita and may take an advisory role on a new board at Comet.
Comet said it “continues to revise its options”. OpCapita and Hilco declined to comment.