Taxpayer set for £50m hit in wake of Comet collapse

Share this article
Have your say

The collapse of electricals retailer Comet has left the taxpayer facing a 
£50 million hit, a report from its administrator is set to show this week.

Deloitte is expected to reveal that insufficient funds have been raised from the winding down of the chain to cover up to £24m owed in redundancy to 6,000 staff. This means the UK government will probably have to step in and ensure workers receive their payments.

The statement, due to be published today, is also expected to disclose that unsecured creditors – including HM Revenue & Customs, which is owed more than £26m – will receive nothing.

By contrast, secured creditors – such as the backers of Comet’s parent company, Hailey Acquisitions – are set to receive payments of about 34p in the pound, or just under £50m in total.

The scale of Comet’s problems will also be highlighted by the administrator’s report, with the chain reportedly racking up losses of £95m in the year to 30 April. This was followed by a further £31m in the subsequent five months as credit insurers withdrew support for the ailing business.