Albemarle & Bond saved by private equity acquisition

Administrators at troubled pawnbroking firm Albemarle & Bond have announced that the business has been successfully sold to a private equity house, bringing it out of administration.

In a joint statement, A&B and Promethean Investments revealed that financial services veteran Stephen Plowman will be appointed CEO with a mandate to restructure the business.

His brief includes “[refocusing] it back to its core business lines of pawnbroking and jewellery retailing and return it to profitability.”

Plowman has more than 30 years experience in financial services, spanning banking insurance and latterly consumer finance, and has spent the last eight years in restructuring roles.

The firm’s claim the restructuring plan will retain “the majority of stores”, in addition to preserving “hundreds of jobs”.

The new management team, Promethean Investments LLP, its co-investors and PwC will work together to ensure that the transition out of administration is achieved as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

Mike Jervis, lead administrator at PwC, said: “The deal announced today was the best offer received, preserving the most jobs and keeping the most stores open. All 120,000 pledged items remain safe and available for the customers to redeem.

“This deal achieves the most positive outcome for customers, staff and landlords, which has always been a key driver for A&B’s stakeholders.”

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