Jessops’ administrators rack up £2.2m in fees
August 14, 2013
Jessops’ former flagship store in New Oxford Street, London, has been turned into a Morrisons. The photo retailer has been taken over by the entrepreneur Peter Jones who has reopened 27 Jessops stores
Thousands of customers were owed more than £1 million when Jessops closed its 187 stores on 11 January and around 1,500 staff lost their jobs.
Unsecured creditors have lodged £48.8m in claims but former customers face not receiving any money.
The business has since been taken over by entrepreneur Peter Jones who has so far opened 27 Jessops stores and is eyeing up expansion into Europe.
To date, staff at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have incurred £2.2m in chargeable time for more than 7,500 hours of work to deal with the affairs of the business under its former bosses.
Administrators’ fees are generally paid from the company’s assets.
The accountancy firm says its fee ‘does not necessarily reflect the amount that will be drawn as remuneration for this period in due course’.
PwC staff have so far been paid £634,483, according to a list of expenses for the period 9 January-8 July which is contained in records held at Companies House.
The ‘progress report’ for JGLCC Camera Company Limited (formerly The Jessop Group Limited), published last week, shows that administrators have spent around £5 million in costs since the retailer’s collapse.
Expenses include £358,271 from a firm advising on store closure management and more than £167,000 on legal advice.
More than £200,000 has been spent on storage costs and 88,000 on security.
Cleaning and site clearance expenses have amounted to more than £38,000, while collection and destruction of data alone cost around £18,000. Postage costs have exceeded £13,000.
Meanwhile, PwC says it has dealt with around 18,000 orders and more than 1,000 ‘repaired items’ that were collected to be returned to customers.
At the time of its demise under former owners, Jessops owed around £80m, including around £20m to Canon and Nikon.
Its bank HSBC was owed £28m but faces a ‘significant shortfall’, says PwC.