Troubled pawnbroker abandons sales process

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Albemarle & Bond, the pawnbroker that put itself up for sale last month after being hit by a drop in gold prices, has scrapped the sale process.

The company’s problems were compounded last year by a failed attempt to raise funds from its largest shareholder, and it today warned investors that they could see “limited value” from their shares.

Jon Moulton’s corporate turnaround firm, Better Capital, was among the companies known to have taken a look at Albemarle, but it pulled out of the running before Christmas.

Although talks continued with a number of possible buyers, Albemarle today said that “none of the proposals were deemed to represent a fair value for the Company”.

Albemarle’s lenders have given it more breathing room while the pawnbroker explores “alternative options”, but it acknowledged that, “depending on the final outcome, there may be limited value attributable to the ordinary shares”.