Specialist retail consultant Alan Fort has been installed ahead of Jessops’ shareholders meeting next week. Fort was previously chief executive of defunct furniture retailer Courts and a director of Neal’s Yard and Celebrations Group.
According to The Independent, Jessops is battling under debts of nearly£60m. It made a pre-tax loss of£50.2m for the year to September 30, 2008.
Last week Jessops said its meeting next week had been convened for the purposes of considering “whether any – and if so what – steps should be taken to deal with the situation in regards to the fact that the net assets of the company are less than half of its called-up share capital”.
Jessops is understood to be considering a debt for equity swap with HSBC. The bank already holds Jessops warrants, which give HSBC the right to buy 15 per cent of the retailer’s shares.