By Daniel Hunter

Axminster Carpet Ltd, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of Axminster, Wilton and Tufted carpet today (Tuesday) announces that it has been forced to enter Administration as the carpet sector continues to suffer.

The Board of the Company has taken the decision to place the Company into Administration following a sharp increase in raw material prices, the closure of a loss making subsidiary and a slight downturn in sales as a result of the continuing economic difficulties facing the UK.

Benjamin Wiles, Geoffrey Bouchier and David Whitehouse, all of Duff & Phelps were appointed Joint Administrators.

The Company was incorporated in 1937 and specialises in the manufacture of woven carpets using traditional techniques and natural materials.

The Company operates from its head office and manufacturing facilities in Axminster and Buckfast and operates two factory outlet stores.

The Administrators continue to assess the Company’s financial position and explore all potential options to maximise the realisations for the Company's creditors including a sale of the business.

However, whilst this assessment takes place, the decision has been taken to downscale the carpet manufacturing operations and cease yarn production. Consequently, the Joint Administrators have had no alternative other than to make approximately 300 employees redundant at the Axminster and Buckfast sites. Some 100 employees have been retained by the Administrators.

The factory outlet stores remain open for business as usual and the Company will attempt to fulfil existing customer orders where possible. The main suppliers have already offered their continued support for the business during the Administration.

The Company’s Director, Joshua Dutfield, commented: “Trading has been difficult and although it saddens the Board to make the decision to enter administration it could not be avoided. The management have been working with key suppliers, creditors and lenders to resolve the Company's financial difficulties and whilst the last few weeks have been stressful, the Company managed to pay the wages yesterday. We are now committed to working with the Administrators to asses all viable options for the future of the business and achieve the best possible outcome for all concerned and most importantly the staff.”

The Joint Administrator, Benjamin Wiles, commented: “We recognise the importance of the business to the local community and will be seeking to work closely with management and all key stakeholders to restructure the business where possible, including the possibility of selling all or part of the business.”

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