A TOWN centre pawnbrokers faces an uncertain future after bosses gave up any hope of saving the company.
Albemarle & Bond has 183 stores across the country, including a branch in York Road, Hartlepool.
But the firm has fallen into financial difficulties of its own and now 900 jobs nationwide are at risk after administrators Pricewaterhouse Cooper was called in to take over the running of the firm while it looks for a buyer.
Trading in the firm’s shares were suspended on Monday and bosses admitted any options of saving the company were “not capable of being completed”.
Five staff work at the Hartlepool branch, and while nobody from the store would comment when approached by the Mail, a source insisted the shop would adopt a “business as usual” policy until further notice and any customers who have entered into agreement for pledges of valuables will not be affected.
A statement released by the firm said: “In the absence of any other available facilities from its lenders or elsewhere, the company will shortly be unable to meet its liabilities as they fall due. The board has therefore concluded that the appointment of an administrator is the most appropriate course of action.”
Administrator Mike Jervis said: “We plan to sell all or part of the business to protect as many jobs as possible and we have already paid, or will be paying all staff – including accrued bonuses – as normal in March.
“Also, all landlords have been paid. However, some redundancies may be necessary depending on the outcome of efforts to sell the business. Every branch will initially remain open as sale discussions progress.”