March 25, 2014 / 10:06 AM / 4 years ago

RPT-UPDATE 2-Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond appoints joint administrators

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LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - British pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond Holdings Plc said it appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s executives as joint administrators after its lenders said proposed rescue plans for the loss-making business were not viable.

Albemarle named PwC’s Michael Jervis, Peter Dickens, Toby Underwood and Stuart Maddison as joint administrators late on Tuesday.

Trading in Albemarle’s shares, which have fallen 97 percent in the past 12 months, was suspended on Monday.

The company had said early on Tuesday that it would file a notice of intention to appoint four insolvency practitioners from PwC as joint administrators as soon as possible.

Albemarle also said its financial and nominated adviser, Canaccord Genuity, had resigned with immediate effect.

Albemarle provides short-term loans to individuals and small businesses against items such as watches and jewellery and it also buys gold.

Founded in 1983, the company has more than 230 stores employing 1,000 people in total, according to its website.

Albemarle launched an ambitious expansion plan in 2011 as a steep rise in gold prices and tightened bank lending brought more customers through its doors.

However, its business took a hit as gold prices tumbled over the past year. Albemarle put itself up for sale in December, but was unable to find a buyer.

The company said on Monday that its lenders had pulled the plug on a turnaround plan and it was continuing to work with them on alternatives, including a sale of the business. (Reporting by Paul Sandle in London and Aashika Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Kate Holton, David Goodman and Kirti Pandey)

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