Rescue hopes as Axminster Carpets set to appoint administrators
Around 400 staff are facing an uncertain future after one of East Devon's biggest employers confirmed it intends to appoint administrators.
Axminster Carpets continues to trade while the company explores all potential rescue or restructuring options.
Its board confirmed today that a notice of intention to appoint administrators has been filed.
The step was taken in order to provide the company and its creditors with a moratorium period during which the various rescue options being explored can continue.
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Director Joshua Dutfield said: "Trading has been difficult and the management has been working with key suppliers, creditors and the lenders in an attempt to resolve the company's financial difficulties.
"We continue to be committed to working to achieve the best possible outcome for all concerned and most importantly the staff and suppliers."
The notice of intention to appoint administrators nominates Benjamin Wiles, Geoff Bouchier and David Whitehouse, of Duff & Phelps, as joint administrators.
Employees are understood to have been asked to defer wages as the struggling company battles tough trading conditions.
Carpets have been made in the East Devon town since 1755. The present company has continued that tradition since manufacturing was restarted in 1937, and has supplied royal residences, luxury hotels and major global airlines.
Tim Jones, chairman of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, described the planned administration as an "enormous blow" to the town and the regional economy, but added that he hoped a rescue deal could be completed.