LONDON, April 15 British pawnbroker Albemarle &
Bond will be bought out of administration by investment
fund Promethean Investments in a deal which will save the
majority of its stores and 628 jobs, administrators said on
The acquisition comes a day after Britain's biggest
pawnbroker H&T said it was ending talks regarding the
possible acquisition of some of A&B's assets.
Administrator PwC said in a statement that the deal with
Promethean involved it taking on 128 A&B stores out of 187, and
628 staff out of a workforce of 809.
A&B was in 2011 hit by the fall of gold after it expanded
heavily, having reached a market capitalisation of over 220
million pounds during that year. It put itself up for sale in
December, but was unable to find a buyer and its shares were
suspended in March before administrators were appointed.
"The deal announced today was the best offer received,
preserving the most jobs and keeping the most stores open,"
PwC's Mike Jervis said in a statement.
A&B specialises in providing short-term loans to individuals
and small businesses against items such as watches and
jewellery, and it also buys gold.
Promethean, leading the investment on behalf of a group of
backers, appointed Stephen Plowman as the new chief executive of
A&B. He has 30 years experience in banking insurance, consumer
finance and restructuring.
(Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Paul Sandle)