UK - Jessops is set to sell its main operating company to a special purpose vehicle owned by its bank, pension scheme and an employee trust.
The retailer's board of directors said they would sell Jessop Group Limited to a firm owned 47% by HSBC Bank, 33% by the trustees of The Jessop Group Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme (1993) and 20% by an employee benefit trust, to be used as part of the long-term incentivisation of the management of the new firm going forward.
It said the allocation of shares in the employee benefit trust had not yet taken place and was subject to independent trustee approval.
The board of directors said it was its intention to put Jessops Plc, the parent firm, into a solvent liquidation in due course.
These proposals follow under-performance of the group due to difficult and uncertain retail trading conditions in early 2007 - and a increase in debt to "unsustainable" levels.
This culminated in the announcement on January 30 that the directors expected the group would breach its covenants under its banking facilities in the immediate future - and were actively engaging the group's advisers and HSBC to put the business on a more stable footing for the future.
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