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Pawnbroker mulls future as lenders back out of turnaround plan 24 March 2014

Troubled pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond has requested its shares be suspended from trading on AIM after the company’s lenders told the board they are unable to support its management turnaround plan.

In an update, the pawnbroking business confirmed the board is continuing to work with Albemarle & Bond’s lenders on possible alternative options for stakeholders.

But it has warned the board believes the remaining options open to the company, which include the sale of the business at a level below the current level of financial indebtedness, provide “no realistic prospect” of any value being attributable to the company’s shares.

Albemarle & Bond’s current covenant deferral agreement expires on 31 March 2014.

In a statement, the company said: “The company’s lenders have indicated they may be willing to extend this agreement in certain circumstances, but if they do not then the company could be required to repay its outstanding loan facilities and although the company has sufficient cash headroom to meet current trading requirements, if the entire debt facility became repayable it would not be able to meet this liability.”

At the request of the company, trading on AIM has been temporarily suspended from 7.40am today (24 March) “pending clarification of the company’s financial position”.

The pawnbroker announced in January this year that it had pulled out of a sale of the business following several proposals and it was then its lenders agreed to extend the covenant deferral to 31 March.

Albemarle & Bond put itself up for sale in early December 2013 after five non-executive directors had resigned and it revealed gold reserves were being melted down to raise cash.

 

 

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