The stopping of the joint venture was without costs and Stanley Gibbons Group (owner of Baldwin’s) said it was a “major milestone” to “bring coin auctions back in house after a four-year hiatus”.
Baldwin’s will now run its auctions from the newly refurbished 399 Strand where Stanley Gibbons Group is based. Within Baldwin’s there are nine staff members (the group has a total of 60 staff). It intends to hold its first auction back at 399 Strand in the autumn.
St James’ Auctions, founded by Stephen Fenton of dealership Knightsbridge Coins, will continue to be based at 10 Charles II Street, St James’s, in London.
Alongside Fenton there are nine full-time employees plus four external consultants. The first St James’s sale without Baldwin’s is scheduled for mid-May.
News of the joint venture ending was announced in a trading update from Stanley Gibbons Group. It had mixed trading during the coronavirus pandemic. The London shop was closed for many months and relied on digital sales.
Graham Shircore, group CEO, said: “We are hopeful that the relaxation of restrictions, combined with greater participation in the hobbies we serve and our hard work, bodes well for our prospects.
“We must redouble our efforts in order to reap the benefits of the progress we have made; we cannot afford to take our foot off the pedal.”
The firm’s insurance claim for business interruption due to the pandemic has been denied, despite the outcome of the recent Supreme Court ruling on the issue. Shircore said the firm is taking legal advice and will try to appeal.
It has also agreed a deal with its primary creditor and majority shareholder who has “once again waived the loan covenants” it has been unable to meet. The next financial covenant test of its loan facilities are in March 2022.