THOMPSON’S Building Centres has collapsed into administration just days after boss Anne Ganley vowed to fight to save it.
The Echo revealed on Friday that the firm had sought advice on entering into a Company Voluntary Arrangement with creditors, to buy it some breathing space.
But accountants KPMG announced yesterday that Mark Firmin, Howard Smith and Paul Flint, of its restructuring arm, have been appointed joint administrators in response to a winding-up petition from HM Revenue and Customs.
“The business has been impacted by weak trading conditions across the sector which has led to cash pressures,” said Mr Firmin.
“Ultimately, an inability to pay last month’s wage bill and the issuing of a winding up petition by HMRC have resulted in Thompson’s entering administration.
“We are now assessing the financial position of the company while marketing the business and assets for sale.”
No redundancies have been made and administrators hope to sell the business.
Thompson’s has closed its branches in South Shields and York, but still has sites in Sunderland, Gateshead, Newcastle and Durham.
Gary Hutchinson, chairman of the North East Chamber of Commerce Sunderland committee, said: “It is very sad to see an established Sunderland business in this position.
“The construction sector has been hit hard by the economic downturn, which has obviously been a contributing factor.
“The hope is that a buyer can be found to save the jobs of those involved.
“Our thoughts go to Anne and the team as they have obviously been fighting hard to keep the business going over recent months.”
Thompson Building Centres was set up by Anne Ganley’s father Albert as a scrap merchant 60 years ago.
Anne joined the business straight from school at the age of 15 and has been instrumental in its expansion. She told the Echo last week: “I am determined to fight in any way I can to keep Thompson’s going and ensure that the jobs of all my staff are protected.
“Although we have had to close two sites, it is business as usual in all of our branches.”
Anyone interested in acquiring some or all of the business should contact James Lumb on behalf of the administrators immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.