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Tempo in adminstration

Will keep trading through Xmas to attract buyer

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Tempo, the computer and electrical retailer, has gone into administration. All its 37 stores will be kept trading through the Christmas period and the administrators have said a potential buyer has already expressed interest in the business.

The chain, which along with Comet, John Lewis and the stores set up by the old electricity companies, provided one of the few dwindling opportunities to buy electrical goods at a high street chain which was not part of the Dixons Group. The administrators pointed out the market was in need of consolidation.

The group has 800-plus employees, and a turnover of around £150 million. It is headquartered in Tolworth, Surrey, and has distribution and service centres in Hemel Hempstead and North London. The company was set up and run by the Kraftman family.

One of the sons, Michael Kraftman, didn't go into the family business straight away. He set up the London-based computer dealership Bonsai in the 1980s which subsequently failed and was shut down. He then brought his experience into the fledgling IT retail market in the early 90s.

PricewaterhouseCoopers were appointed to handle the administration following presentation of a petition to the High Court in London by the company's directors which was supported by the group's bankers on Monday 24 September.

Neville Kahn, one of the administrators, said: "Tempo operates in a highly competitive end of the electrical retail market, which has recently seen the need for consolidation. By obtaining an administration order the group has been given a breathing space which will enable it to trade through the critical Christmas and new year trading period. We intend to keep all stores open whilst seeking a buyer for the whole or part of the business. Interest has already been expressed by a potential purchaser." ®

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