Humberside

Job loss fear as Hull-based Comet faces administration

Up to 200 jobs at the Hull business centre of electrical retailer Comet are at risk after the firm fell into administration.

Staff were informed at a meeting on Thursday of the situation, which city business leaders said was "bad news".

Comet said it was "urgently working" on plans to secure the company's future and it is hoped a buyer will be found.

The company was founded in Hull in 1933, and originally called Comet Battery Stores Limited.

The news of the potential job losses comes just a week after vitamin manufacturer Sevens Seas said more than 250 jobs would go after it announced the closure of its Hull factory.

Battery-charging

Ian Kelly, chief executive of Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce, said: "It's another of those great companies which had a long tradition and history in the city, like Seven Seas, who sadly have fallen on difficult times.

"It's bad news for the city and bad news for the sub-region."

Comet, founded by George Hollingbery, was originally a two-man business charging batteries and accumulators for customer wireless sets.

The first Comet superstore opened in Hull in 1968 and the company was listed on the stock market two years later.

The firm changed hands a number of times over the years, until it was bought by private equity firm OpCapita last year for just £2.

Earlier this year, the company announced the closure of a call centre in Hull with the loss of 240 jobs.

Comet has 240 shops across the UK and employs about 6,500 people.

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