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Albemarle & Bond rescued from administration 16 April 2014

Insolvent pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond has been sold out of administration, saving more than 600 jobs and 128 stores.

Promethean Investments LLP announced yesterday (15 April) that it had made its first investment from its second fund, Promethean UK Opportunities Fund II LP, with the acquisition of Albemarle & Bond Group Holdings plc.

Stephen Plowman will take up the position of CEO and has been tasked with taking the company back to its pawnbroker roots and away from the payday lending industry.

The company’s remaining 59 branches are not part of the acquisition and are “likely to close”, resulting in the redundancies of 181 staff.

Having reached a market capitalisation of over £220 million at its peak in 2011, the company fell victim to over expansion, and its shares were suspended from trading on 24 March.

The company also ran into trouble last year when it revealed it was melting down gold reserves to raise cash and put itself up for sale in December.

Mike Jervis, Peter Dickens, Toby Underwood and Stuart Maddison of PwC were appointed as joint administrators of Albemarle & Bond Holdings plc, Albemarle & Bond Jewellers & Pawnbrokers Limited and Herbert Brown & Son Limited, which trade as Albemarle Bond and Herbert Brown 26 March.

Mike Jervis, lead administrator at PwC, added: “The deal announced was the best offer received, preserving the most jobs and keeping the most stores open. All 120,000 pledged items remain safe and available for the customers to redeem.

“This deal achieves the most positive outcome for customers, staff and landlords – which has always been a key driver for A&B’s stakeholders.”

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