Brighton and Crawley pawnshops could go bust

Albemarle and Bond's Brighton branch in London Road

Albemarle and Bond's Brighton branch in London Road

First published in News

A highstreet pawnbrokers with branches in Brighton and Crawley is in jeopardy after looking to appoint administrators.

Albemarle and Bond announced yesterday it was planning to appoint Price Waterhouse Cooper as administrators.

The group threw in the towel after lenders said they did not consider options to save the business “capable of being completed”.

Plunging gold prices and increased competition left the group struggling with losses and overstretched finances.

Its shares, which were suspended at 6.65p, have lost around 97% of their value in the last year as its woes deepened and investors were warned any remaining options for the group would likely wipe out any remaining value of the stock.

The appointment of PwC as administrators came as the business admitted, with no financial support from lenders and mounting trading losses, it would not be seeking an extension to a March 31 restructuring deadline set by its banks.

It abandoned an attempt to sell itself in January, saying none of the proposals it had received represented a fair value for the business.

Albemarle added: “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.

“The board has therefore concluded that, in such circumstances, the appointment of an administrator is the most appropriate course of action.”

Albemarle, which includes Herbert Brown jewellery and pawnbroking stores, had attempted to turn itself around by slashing costs and closing 33 pop-up gold stores last year.

It had been given a reprieve by lenders to patch up its overstretched finances, with a deadline extended further at the beginning of the year, but was unable to come up with a viable rescue solution.

The group has warned that earnings will be significantly below expectations and admitted it had resorted to melting down gold jewellery stocks to raise cash.

Comments (3)

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6:05am Wed 26 Mar 14

rogerthefish says...

Could and if are very big words, but it's not going to help the business, who's going to pawn something when the shop may not be there later to retrieve it.
Could and if are very big words, but it's not going to help the business, who's going to pawn something when the shop may not be there later to retrieve it. rogerthefish
  • Score: 2

7:24am Wed 26 Mar 14

RK_Brighton says...

Very sorry for those involved and who may lose jobs or money. But from the point of view of what is best for Brighton and London Road, it could be a good thing if the shop goes as it'll give the opportunity for a better, higher class shop to open in its place to improve the area now loads more people will be moving in to the new homes and student accommodation.

Hopefully the same might happen to other low quality shops on London Road. We've already seen the nice new bar open in the old Blockbuster shop, so hopefully that will be the first of many improvements.
Very sorry for those involved and who may lose jobs or money. But from the point of view of what is best for Brighton and London Road, it could be a good thing if the shop goes as it'll give the opportunity for a better, higher class shop to open in its place to improve the area now loads more people will be moving in to the new homes and student accommodation. Hopefully the same might happen to other low quality shops on London Road. We've already seen the nice new bar open in the old Blockbuster shop, so hopefully that will be the first of many improvements. RK_Brighton
  • Score: 0

11:44am Thu 27 Mar 14

gheese77 says...

Can't they pawn their stock ?
Can't they pawn their stock ? gheese77
  • Score: 0

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