Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond has been bought out of administration by an international investor group led by private equity firm Promethean Investments.

Promethean Investments has bought 128 of the pawnbroker’s 187 stores, safeguarding 628 jobs out of 809.

Stephen Plowman, who has spent more than 30 years in financial services, has been appointed chief executive of Albemarle & Bond. He has been charged with refocussing the retailer back to its core business lines of pawnbroking and jewellery retailing, and returning it to profitability.  

The remaining 59 branches, which employ 181 staff, have been retained by the administrators. PwC said the branches will initially remain open as discussions progress, although it said some redundancies may be necessary.

PwC lead administrator Mike Jervis said: “The deal announced today was the best offer received, preserving the most jobs and keeping the most stores open. All 120,000 pledged items remain safe and available for the customers to redeem.”

Albemarle & Bond appointed PwC in March as its administrator after lenders rejected its rescue plan.