Albemarle and Bond looks for buyer

The Advertiser Series: A Herbert Brown store, which is part of the Albemarle and Bond group A Herbert Brown store, which is part of the Albemarle and Bond group

A PAWNBROKER, which has shops across the North-East, has put itself up for sale.

Albemarle and Bond has taken the decision after a number of profit warnings and an exodus of board directors.

The UKs second largest chain of pawnbrokers, it has branches in Stockton, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Sunderland.

Bosses recently admitted it had resorted to melting down gold items to stay within lending limits.

It is understood the company has already had expressions of interest from trade and financial buyers.

The group, which includes Herbert Brown jewellery and pawnbroking stores, warned over profits for the second time in as many months last week.

It added further declines in the price of gold would leave it nursing losses in the first five months of its financial year.

The firm remains in talks with lenders after it was given a three-month reprieve at the end of October to patch up finances.

Last week, it revealed measures taken to remain within its 53.5m borrowing limit included a clampdown on lending through its Speedloan and online division, as well as a programme of exceptional smelting of gold items bought by its stores.

Herbert Brown has stores in Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Sunderland, South Shields, South Tyneside, and Scarborough.

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