Royal carpet-maker Axminster floored as rescue bid falters

Axminster Carpets, founded in 1755, is the last link to Devon’s historic wool trade. Sadly, this famous carpet-makers has collapsed into administration, threatening the 265 year-old royal warrant-holder’s survival prospects. /story/royal-carpet-maker-axminster-floored-as-rescue-bid-falters-11937845

Mark Kleinman, Sky News

Sky News has learnt that Axminster Carpets called in Duff & Phelps as administrators on Wednesday afternoon after weeks of efforts to secure a rescue deal.

Sources said that Axminster’s underlay-manufacturing division had been sold to rival Ulster Carpets, while its shop had been offloaded to another competitor, Wilton Flooring.

However, the main carpet-making business, which is based in Devon, has so far not found a backer willing to take it on.

Most of the company’s 90 staff have been made redundant, leaving a handful of remaining employees to fulfil its existing order book.

The news that administrators have been formally appointed imperils a company which has supplied hand-woven carpets to some of the UK’s most prominent buildings, including Buckingham Palace.

It is the second time that Axminster Carpets has fallen into administration in seven years.

It is one of the best-known names in its industry, having been founded by Thomas Whitty in 1755.

Axminster also counts Clarence House and the US Congress among the most prestigious locations of its products.

The royal warrant-holder’s troubles are understood to have been prompted by weak consumer confidence, delays to corporate orders and a hiatus in the awarding of several new rail franchises – an important source of revenue for it.

Owl – rail franchises??