Pawn shop H&T in the mood for consolidation

 
Michael Bow
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PAWNBROKER H&T is still on the hunt to buy shops owned by faltering rival Albemarle & Bond despite announcing plans yesterday to close more of its own stores.

The UK’s biggest pawnbroker has signed a non-disclosure agreement with Albemarle & Bond, with a view to buying the company after rival bidder Better Capital pulled out of the race.

Yesterday it predicted a wave of consolidation in the industry on the back of Albemarle & Bond’s troubles, which was precipitated by a 30 per cent fall in the price of gold last year.

“It is likely that H&T will close a small number of non-contributing stores in 2014 and at the same time will look to acquire profitable Pawnbroking opportunities,” the company said in a trading update yesterday.