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Dragons’ Den’s Jones weighing sale of Jessops: Sky News
Posted on Thursday, 28 November 2019 07:23
Jessops, a UK-based photography and camera retailer, could be on the block as Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones is in talks regarding a sale, people close to the situation told Sky News.

Sources told the broadcaster that the millionaire investor is weighing a disposal of the company after weeks of negotiations with landlords over a restructuring agreement.

Jones is already said to be in talks with potential buyers; however, the insiders cautioned discussions are at an early stage and other options are being considered.

Some people noted that a sale could be structured as a pre-pack administration although it was unclear if Jessops will survive on its own without any new financial support.

The news comes one month after Sky News said Jones has received some breathing room as he continues to debate with landlords over rent cuts for the camera seller.

Jessops, which has around 500 employees, was acquired by the investor in 2013 when it emerged from bankruptcy.

Sources told Sky News that Jones has since injected significant cash into the business, including GBP 5.00 million in 2019.

Jessops sells a range of products from lenses, video, computing and accessories, with its main point of sale being cameras.

At the top end of the group’s camera range is Fujifilm’s GFX100 Mirrorless Medium Format Camera Body at GBP 9,999, while also offering disposal cameras at as little as GBP 8.99.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there have been 31 deals targeting UK-based electronic and appliance stores announced since the start of 2019.

Matthew Riley agreed to acquire a minority stake in Daisy Group Holdings for GBP 1.00 billion to be funded by Ares Management in the largest of these.

Other targets have included GAME Digital, Debenhams, Dixons Carphone and Richer Sounds.

© Zephus Ltd