TROUBLED pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond yesterday suspended its shares from trading on London’s Alternative Investment Market after lenders said they would no longer support the firm’s turnaround plan.
Albemarle shareholders could face losing their money while the firm’s 1,000 staff could lose their jobs.
“These remaining options open to the company, which could include the sale of the business at a level below the current level of financial indebtedness, provide no realistic prospect of any value being attributable to the company’s ordinary shares,” Albemarle said in a statement.
In a notice to the stockmarket yesterday, the firm said: “Over the weekend, the board was informed by the company’s lenders that they will not be able to support the management turnaround plan for the business.”
The company said it will continue to work with Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group, to which Albemarle owes more than £50m, to try and find an alternative to default once its agreement with them expires on 31 March.
Albemarle has struggled due to the sharp fall in the price of gold which caused profits for the year to June to slump 75 per cent to £4.9m. Shares in Albemarle slipped 10.6 per cent on Friday to 6.65p – 97 per cent less than they were worth a year ago.