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Albemarle & Bond calls in administrators

Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond has appointed administrators after its lenders told its board they were unable to support the turnaround plan for the business.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Albemarle & Bond calls in administrators

Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond has appointed administrators after its lenders told its board they were unable to support the turnaround plan for the business.

On Monday, Albemarle & Bond asked that its shares be suspended as it continued to work with lenders on possible alternative options. However, yesterday the firm said its lenders had concluded that none of the potential options put forward were capable of being completed.

"In the absence of any other available facilities from its lenders or elsewhere, the company will shortly be unable to meet its liabilities as they fall due," it added in a statement.

Michael Jervis, Peter Dickens, Toby Underwood and Stuart Maddison of PWC have been appointed as joint administrators and are now seeking a buyer for all or part of the business.

In a statement they said: "Our priority is to keep all pledged items safe and available for redemption as normal. We plan to sell all or part of the business to protect as many jobs as possible and we have already paid, or will be paying all staff - including accrued bonuses - as normal in March. Also, all landlords have been paid. However, some redundancies may be necessary depending on the outcome of efforts to sell the business. Every branch will initially remain open as sale discussions progress. This also enables customers to continue to redeem their goods as normal as they pay off their loans.”

Founded in 1983, Albemarle & Bond has 183 stores and employs 1,000 staff. The firm was hit by the falling the price of gold last year which left it with big losses.

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