Abbeycrest in asset sale talks as it closes Yorkshire HQ

JEWELLERY group Abbeycrest has moved its headquarters from Yorkshire and is in advanced talks about selling assets.

The cash-strapped group yesterday said it has closed its office in Leeds, which was understood to employ a skeleton team, and re-located to a subsidiary’s site in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. It did not say if jobs have been lost by the re-location.

Abbeycrest, squeezed by high gold and silver prices and tough competition, has repeatedly renegotiated its debt facilities and sought extensions to loans.

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“The group has continued to be adversely affected by competitive market conditions, retailer action to protect volumes and sustained highs in precious metal prices,” it said. “The factors outlined above have continued to exert pressure on cashflows during the period... The board continues to pursue all options available to address the ongoing constraints on working capital. Accordingly, the group is currently in advanced discussions regarding the proposed disposal of certain of the group’s assets within a short timeframe.”

Abbeycrest was founded in 1979 by Michael Lever and Peter Rosenberg.

The company did not return calls for comment yesterday.