Albemarle & Bond hits record minimal following unsuccessful sale

Shares dive in struggling pawnbroker following sale method ends with no a purchaser

  Photo: Huw Jones

Shares in Albemarle &amp Bond collapsed this morning after the embattled pawn broker ended its sale process with no achievement.

The company’s shares tumbled by 58.4pc – or 11.25 factors lower – to a record reduced of 8p in London morning trading.

The income-strapped business has managed to negotiate an additional extension with its banking institutions to postpone its covenant testing dates to 31 March from 3 February.

“I am grateful to our lending banking institutions for their continued assistance in extending our covenant testing dates, as I am to all our personnel who are functioning so difficult as we seek out to turnaround our business”, Chris Gillespie, chief executive of Albemarle &amp Bond, commented.

“Although the formal procedure has not resulted in a transaction, we proceed to investigate a variety of possibilities to take the organization forward with the assistance of our banking institutions. I continue to be of the see, supported by the feedback from the sale process to date, that there is a viable underlying organization if supported by the right capital framework,” Mr Gillespie additional.

Turnaround tycoon Jon Moulton had been named as an interested suitor but walked away from the method on Christmas Eve. Rival pawnbroker H&ampT, also tipped as a probably purchaser, stressed at the starting of the 12 months that it was much more focussed on smaller sized and worthwhile acquisition opportunities.

US pawnbroker and biggest shareholder EZCorp was also tipped as a tactical suitor following it refused to back a rights situation final year, which led to the collapse in the company’s share value. Nevertheless, sources following the situation have stated that EZCorp is preoccupied with bolstering its house market.

Albemarle &amp Bond explained that none of the proposals produced by parties “were deemed to represent a fair worth for the business.”

N+one Singer analyst Andrew Watson mentioned: “The failure to safe a productive transaction means that it is most likely that the enterprise will go into administration at the finish of March, excluding a last minute resolution.”

Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group, which are owed £50m by the Aim-listed company, have already hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to advise them on their possibilities. Canaccord Genuity is advising the company’s board on the sale process.

Prior to kicking-off a formal sale method the pawnbroker suffered a mass exodus of independent directors, leaving Mr Nicholls as the only remaining non-executive at the pawnbroker.