£100k for boss after cash bid fails

The boss of stricken pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond reportedly landed a £100,000 payout for his work on a failed attempt to secure a shareholder cash injection.

525e367c-7619-11e3-8f39-0a0c0223000020140106T132201
The boss of stricken pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond was reportedly given a £100,000 payout for work on a failed bid for a shareholder cash injection

The boss of stricken pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond reportedly landed a £100,000 payout for his work on a failed attempt to secure a shareholder cash injection.

Greville Nicholls, executive chairman at the group, was handed the reward for his efforts in dealing with advisers on a deeply discounted £35 million rights issue, which was abandoned after Albemarle's biggest shareholder EZ Corp refused to back the refinancing, according to The Sunday Times.

The group was left close to breaching its bank terms and put itself up for sale in early December after its trading was hit by a slump in gold prices and rising competition in a sector that has more than doubled in size over the past five years.

Rival chain H&T is understood to be one of a number of trade and financial buyers that have formally lodged interest in buying Albemarle.

Mr Nicholls became executive chairman in April after former chief executive Barry Stevenson quit.

It has since emerged that Mr Stevenson was given a "golden goodbye" as his pay nearly doubled to £631,000 in 2013, up from his salary of £345,000 in 2012, despite leading the firm as it headed to the brink of collapse.

Albemarle was not immediately available for comment.

But the company told the Sunday Times that Mr Nicholls was paid £100,000 for "engaging with and working with professional advisers" on the rights issue .

He also "agreed to the board's request to return immediately to an executive position" after Mr Stevenson's departure, it added.

Albemarle's recent annual report reveals that Mr Nicholls was paid £233,000, including a £67,000 fee for previous non-executive duties.