By Daniel Hunter
Landlords have welcomed the launch of an Insolvency Service inquiry into Comet’s collapse in to administration as the last of the electrical chain’s 49 stores closed yesterday (Tuesday).
The British Property Federation said that the retailer’s demise, one of the largest since the collapse of Woolworth’s in 2008, further underlined the need for an urgent review of the insolvency regime amid fears that creditors were being unfairly left out of pocket.
Administrators Deloitte reveal that the collapse will leave unsecured creditors, including landlords with nothing, while Comet’s owner, private equity firm OpCapita, will receive almost £50m from the sale of Comet’s remaining stock and assets.
The government has also been left facing a £49.4m bill in redundancy payments and tax revenues.
The 236-store business, which at the time employed about 7,000 people, was bought last year for the nominal sum of £1 by OpCapita.
Liz Peace, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation, said: "It is Comet's staff and unsecured creditors, such as landlords, who are now set to lose out, while OpCapita seemingly takes its money back.
“It seems to be a real lottery as to who emerges as a winner or loser and the relative merit of claims against the remaining assets appear to be largely ignored.
"This injustice further underlines the need for a wide-ranging review of the insolvency regime."
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