Canburg, the parent firm of Smallbone of Devizes and Mark Wilkinson Furniture, has filed a notice of intention to put the firm into administration, according to Sky News.
The report said the company was about to appoint accountancy firm Grant Thornton as administrator amid an “uncertain economic outlook”.
The news comes only days after a Canburg spokesperson told kbbreview the business was “in good shape” and that BGF – the vehicle set up by Britain’s biggest high-street lenders in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis – “remained very supportive”.
Meanwhile, a delay in the filing of Canburg’s accounts amid a slump in its credit rating had been passed off as a technicality linked to the structure of the BGF deal.
Canburg had also rejected claims that the recent closure of three more of its stores was part of wider cost-cutting measures in the face of increasing market pressures.
According to the spokesperson, this was merely “a strategic decision” based on customer buying habits.
BGF invested £8 million in Canburg back in September 2014 and took a minority stake in the business.
However, in September of this year, Canburg chief executive Leo Caplan surprisingly stepped down to be replaced by new executive chairman Ian Gray.
Nobody at Canburg or Business Growth Fund (BGF) was available for further comment.