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Wednesday, August 26, 1998 Published at 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK

Business: The Company File

Yardley faces collapse

Yardley's is the Queen Mother's favourite

One of the most famous British names in cosmetics and perfumes has called in receivers.

Yardley, which has Royal warrants to its name, is to be run by receivers from accountant KPMG while they seek a buyer.

[ image: The perfume market is highly competitive]
The perfume market is highly competitive
The company operates from a head office in central London and a manufacturing base in Basildon, Essex.

It employs some 300 people.

The crisis comes as the company, founded in 1770, tries to shake off its old fashioned image and trying to reinvent itself.

Last year, the group changed its advertising model from actress Helena Bonham Carter to supermodel Linda Evangelista.

One of the new adverts showed Ms Evangelista shackled in chains and handcuffs.

[ image: Some fashion analysts say Yardley has a 'granny image']
Some fashion analysts say Yardley has a 'granny image'
At the time, Yardley's chief executive Richard Finn said: "The English Rose image was a digression. In the Sixties, Yardley was associated with Twiggy, Carnaby Street and mini skirts, not stuck in a cottage garden with green wellies."

Administrator Tony Thompson said: "Our first priority as receivers is to quickly take control of Yardley's businesses and its assets.

Mr Thompson said the company had recently been unable to fully develop its brands because of cash shortages.

He said a number of potential buyers had already been identified in the UK and overseas.

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