Electronics retailer Kesa to sell British unit Comet
Kesa Electricals on Wednesday said it had agreed to sell its loss-making British retail arm Comet for a nominal fee of £2.0 (2.3 euros, $3.2) to private-equity firm OpCapita.
However Kesa has also agreed to inject £50 million into the business and retain responsibility for Comet's pension deficit of £46 million before offloading the chain that runs 248 across Britain and employs 10,000 staff.
Kesa had in June announced that it was considering the sale of Comet after its "unsatisfactory and unacceptable" performance was offsetting growth at its Darty retail chain in France.
Kesa on Wednesday said that sales slumped 18.6 percent at Comet during the group's first half.
"In June 2011, the board decided to explore strategic alternatives for Comet in parallel with implementing the turnaround plan focused on restoring profitability at Comet over the medium term," Kesa Electricals chairman David Newlands said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Having concluded the review of its strategic alternatives, the board believes that a disposal ... is in the best interests of ordinary shareholders."
© 2011 AFP