Comet put up for sale

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KESAF2.000.00

Comet has been put up for sale just eight months after its owner OpCapita bought the electrical goods retailer.

The private-equity firm is considering a sale after approaches from UK and overseas retailers to buy Comet.

OpCapita paid just £2 to buy Comet in February and received a £50m dowry from its then owner Darty, formerly known as Kesa Electricals (Other OTC: KESAF.PK - news) , to take over the business.

Comet had been struggling in the face of competition from online retailers, but double-digit declines in like-for-like sales are thought to have stabilised in recent weeks and have sparked enquiries from potential buyers.

OpCapita brought in former Dixons boss John Clare as chairman to lead the business alongside Bob Darke, chief executive. Mr Clare said in July that Comet was “climbing out of the hole”.

Comet has 240 shops in the UK but OpCapita has reduced staff numbers from 8,500 to 7,000 as it has cut costs and worked to improve efficiency.

OpCapita declined to comment.