Albany UK enters administration

The UK businesses of Albany, the umbrella company, yesterday went into administration, raising hopes that creditors, such as IT contractors, may get some of the money they are owed.



The group's UK operations appear to have faced cash-flow difficulties after clients apparently failed to pay their bills, leading to a "knock-on effect" on contractors, administrators Carter Backer Winter (CBW) said.



Partners at the firm did not mention Albany Technologies (UK) , but did confirm their appointment as joint administrators for Albany Holdings, Albany EMEA and liquidators of Albany Management and Albany Employment Services.



Joint administrator and partner at CBW, John Alexander, said: "We have only just been appointed so it is too early to be definitive.



"However, we are hopeful that there will be at least some dividend to creditors, including former employees who may also be entitled to additional amounts from the government's redundancy fund where they have unpaid salaries."



He added that he and joint administrator Melvyn Carter, would be "moving quickly to ascertain the exact situation" at Albany, and would contact creditors individually "within the next couple of days."



All of Albany's customers in the UK were promised "payment of all outstanding sums quickly," many of which were subject to an invoice finance agreement in the UK.



However, the rest of Albany's operations were said to be unaffected by the administration of the group's UK businesses.



"Albany has a number of foreign subsidiaries, particularly in the USA, Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands and also Asia-Pacific," said Alexander. "These businesses are independent, stand alone, profitable and sound.



"It will continue to be business as normal for them, although I am keen to hear from trade purchasers or anyone else interested in acquiring them. I can emphasise that this is not a 'pre pack' insolvency."



The administrators pointed out that, in its latest published accounts (dated 31.12.2008), Albany Holdings and its group showed a turnover of around £100million and profits of around £300,000.



At one point Albany employed around 300 people in the UK, said CBW, but the workforce has since shrunk to about 150, comprising both staff and contractors.

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