Administration takes shine off upmarket jewellery firm

Matthew Tait and Colin Haig, BDO business restructuring partners, have been appointed joint administrators of upmarket jewellery firm Theo Fennell Ltd, which has hit financial problems

Based in London, the company is a designer, manufacturer and retailer of fine jewellery and silverware, and employs 54 staff.  The administrators say they have made some limited redundancies, but plan to work closely with management to continue to service clients whilst a long term solution can be found. 

It was originally set up by old Etonian and silversmith Theo Fennell in 1982 and specialises in creating unusual, and expensive, jewellery pieces and silverware, such as a recent Tequila shot set modelled on a US space shuttle priced at £18,000, and personalised silver lids for jars of Marmite which retail at £135. Theo Fennell also creates bespoke trophies and gifts for companies, charities and events such as The Italian Formula One Grand Prix, and the Man of the Match Trophy for the FA Cup Final.

The company was listed on London's alternative investment market until August 2013, when it was taken private by a vehicle whose backers included Jon Moulton, the financier, and Sir Keith Mills, the entrepreneur behind the Air Miles and Nectar loyalty programmes.

That deal valued the business, which trades from locations such as Harrods as well as a flagship store in Chelsea, at £3m.

Matthew Tait, BDO business restructuring partner and joint administrator, said: ‘Unfortunately, the financial burden of certain fixed costs have weighed heavily upon the company as it implemented its own restructuring plan.

‘Whilst the market has remained strong for fine and luxury goods, the cost and pace of that restructuring could not be supported by the company indefinitely. Given the long established reputation the company has built for fine craftsmanship it is not surprising that we are already in receipt of a number of expressions of interest.’ 

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