Former Jessops boss questions ‘HMV’ tie-up (update 31 January)
January 30, 2013
Former Jessops chairman David Adams
His comments come amid reports that restructuring firm Hilco is the front-runner to buy the Jessops brand, among around half a dozen parties who have so far expressed interest.
Adams, who left Jessops last year, lost his role as a non-executive director at HMV when the music and DVD retailer fell into administration earlier this month.
Hilco has since taken control of HMV by buying its debt.
Jessops ceased trading on 11 January, two days after going into administration.
Speaking to Amateur Photographer (AP), Adams said he is not convinced that camera suppliers would be willing to support Jessops-branded outlets inside an HMV store – with the likes of big names such as Dixons [the owner of Currys and PC World] Argos and John Lewis already fulfilling a high-street role.
Though Canon declined to comment on the subject, a Nikon UK spokesperson told AP: ‘Nikon worked closely with Jessops for many years and would similarly work with any parties looking to continue the business.’
Last year, Adams – who left as Jessops chairman in February 2012 – tried to persuade Jessops’ bank, HSBC, to accept a private equity takeover deal.
Adams believes the chain could have survived with fewer branches and that its disappearance from the high street was ‘avoidable’.
‘We thought we were going in the right direction, particularly with suppliers… We were trying to be a channel to market for them,’ said Adams, stressing that Jessops prided itself on the service it provided customers.
In the week the chain went into administration, Adams was approached regarding similar private equity deals.
An HSBC spokesman said it had ‘not received any creditable approach to purchase its debt and/or equity positions in Jessops’.
A spokesman for Jessops’ administrator, PwC, dismissed reports of HMV stores housing Jessops-branded outlets as ‘speculation’.