He's in: Peter Jones snaps up camera brand Jessops

Feb 1, 2013

Business will be run as online-only operation by Dragons' Den star

COLLAPSED High Street camera brand Jessops has been snapped up by Dragons' Den star Peter Jones.

The TV stalwart and entrepreneur is part of a group of buyers who have bought Jessops' brand "and certain other assets", believed to be intellectual property rights and leftover stock, for an undisclosed amount, administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said.

It is believed the tycoon will run Jessops as a purely online retailer and has not agreed to buy any of its 187 stores, the BBC notes. The deal also does not include the 2,000 jobs lost when the company went into administration last month.

Turnaround firm Hilco, which bought some of HMV's debt, has also acquired some assets from Jessops, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Jessops became the latest victim of high street carnage in January, hit by growing internet sales and consumers' increasing reliance on smartphones for taking photographs. The chain began 130 years ago as a Leicester chemist's shop. It managed sales of £236m in the year to December 2012 but had not made a profit since 2009.

Jones, who made his £400m fortune selling mobile phones, has not commented publicly on his new acquisition, although he tweeted last night that it was "a busy time".

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