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Knight Vinke denies opposition to Comet sale


Large shareholder in the Kesa Electricals business Knight Vinke has denied reports that it was against the sales of the retailer’s loss-making subsidiary Comet.

Reports over the weekend suggested that the asset management group had urged Kesa to drop plans to sell Comet but it claims that confidential discussions have been misconstrued.

Knight Vinke, which currently owns 19.3 per cent of Kesa, has clarified that its has no objections to retail group offloading the UK-based Comet.

A statement from Knight Vinke read: “We met with the company last week and during the meeting made it clear that we would not support any plan to close down or liquidate Comet if there were other alternatives.

“For the avoidance of doubt, however, we confirm that we have not at any stage said that we would be opposed to a sale of Comet.”

The investor does expect an acceptable price for the business however and does not want the process of any sales to be drawn out further than two to three months, the length of time anticipated by Kesa’s board.

An alternative plan for Comet has been put forward by Knight Vinke it has confirmed, to be prepared in parallel with the sale process and enacted should an appropriate buyer not be found in the specified time.

Comet lost over £9 million in the full-year ending April 30th 2011 and Kesa at the time admitted that it was looking at strategic alternatives for its UK arm.

Knight Vinke’s statement continued: “We are confident that the board should be able to inform the market as to where matters stand by the time of the AGM in September.

“We intend to continue discussing our ideas with the board. However, we intend to make no further comment until closer to the annual meeting.”

Published on Tuesday 05 July by Editorial Assistant

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