Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Borders cashmere firm in administration

Ballantyne Cashmere
A buyer is being sought for the former Ballantyne Cashmere business

Nearly 200 jobs have been put at risk after one of Scotland's oldest cashmere manufacturers went into administration.

There remains hope that a buyer can be found for JJ & HB 1788 Cashmere Mills in Innerleithen in the Borders.

Joint administrator James Stephen said "difficult trading conditions" had affected the retail sector.

He said the Italian-owned firm was known for its "quality output" and would continue to trade in the hope of finding a buyer.

Mr Stephen added there had already been an "expression of interest" in buying the cashmere manufacturers.

Oldest mill

As well as its main plant in Innerleithen, the Italian-owned firm has other premises in Coatbridge and Galashiels.

The joint administrators BDO LLP have confirmed that all 176 employees across the three sites have been retained while it tries to secure a buyer.

The firm was founded as Ballantyne Cashmere in Innerleithen in 1921 but changed its name to JJ & HB 1788 Cashmere Mills Limited in October 2008.

They operate from Scotland's oldest continually operating textile mill at Caerlee in Innerleithen, which dates back more than 200 years.

Italian textiles entrepreneur Massimiliano Zegna Baruffa took control of the company in October 2008 with a 55% stake while US clothes firm Brooks Brothers bought a 25% share.



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