Shares in ailing Abbeycrest are suspended

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The Independent Online

The high street jewellery business Abbeycrest has been forced to suspend its shares after a buyer for its Thai business failed to materialise.

The gold and silver jewellery manufacturer and supplier to the likes of Argos and Asda had been trying to raise much-needed cash to keep the business alive.

Abbeycrest warned last week that it was still being hit by the "competitive market conditions" that had led it to a major cost-cutting drive, including relocating its head office from Leeds to an existing company building in Hatfield.

It told the Stock Exchange: "It is now clear that there is no prospect of completing a sale within the time constraints imposed by our funding position."

The business had tried to move upmarket and reduced the number of stock lines from 22,000 to below 16,000.

It had won new contracts including supplying jewellery to a business in Sweden as well as more upmarket lines to chains such as Ernest Jones and Goldsmiths. Its cashflow has become an increasing concern.

Abbeycrest had been trying to raise cash to repay debts of £1.75m.