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Smallbone of Devizes owner Canburg reportedly facing collapse

The furniture maker is said to have filed a notice of intention to appoint accountancy firm, Grant Thornton, as administrator
smallbone of devizes
High street retailers have been struggling

Canburg, the owner of bespoke furniture maker Smallbone of Devizes, is reportedly set to collapse into administration this week after falling victim to the high street downturn.

Sky News reported that Canburg, which also owns Mark Wilkinson Furniture, has filed a notice of intention to appoint accountancy firm, Grant Thornton, as administrator.

READ: Debenhams to close up to 50 stores after making record annual loss

A collapse of the company would mark one of the biggest corporate failures to be backed by the £2.5bn Business Growth Fund, which was set up by the UK’s largest banks following the 2008 financial crisis.

The BCF invested £8mln in Canburg in 2014 in return for a 20% stake. A recent filing from Companies House showed the BCF now held more than 25% of the shares.

Canburg, the BGF and Grant Thornton all declined to comment on the report.

Canburg founder Leo Caplan recently stepped down as chief executive and the company appointed Ian Gray as its executive chairman.

High street retailers have been struggling in the face of subdued consumer spending and tough online competition along with higher costs related to a rise in inflation, the minimum wage, business rates and rents.

A difficult retail environment has led to the collapse of Maplin and Toys R Us while other retailers have been closing multiple stores to cut costs, including New Look, Marks & Spencer Group PLC (LON:MKS), House of Fraser and Debenhams PLC (LON:DEB).

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