Sale of Ortak business deemed unlikely

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High levels of stock discounted; business discussions to continue.

The sale of Ortak Jewellery Limited remains in doubt, according to a statement released today by the company’s joint administrator and restructuring partner James Stephen.

Stephen of Glasgow-based firm BDO said: “Ortak Jewellery Limited entered administration back in March 2013, caused by the economic climate and difficult trading conditions. Since then, the joint administrators have retained staff and continued to trade the business while we explored all options to secure the future of the business.

“Regretfully, despite an extensive marketing process and discussions with a number of interested parties over the past several months, a sale of the whole Ortak business appears unlikely. However, there is some interest in the assets of the business, principally Ortak’s store network including leasehold interests and other associated assets."

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The Orkney-based jewellery company employed 155 staff across Scotland before entering administration, with 28 jobs cut in April 2013 when it closed three of its stores.

The business continued to trade throughout 2013, negotiating rents with its retail landlords and, in October last year, launched a Christmas marketing campaign in a bid to win festive sales. Ortak managing director Alistair Gray said at the time: “Investment in new designs has always been the lifeblood of Ortak and we are delighted to launch our new collections despite this difficult time. We have been overwhelmed by support for Ortak over the past few months and the clear affection which many of our customers have for the brand."

It is understood that Ortak will continue to trade in the coming weeks while discussions take place with a number of interested parties.

Stephen added: "There are high levels of existing stock, which will be heavily discounted and placed on sale via stores and the website from January 11. We continue to be grateful for the support of staff, customers and suppliers throughout this difficult time.”
 

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