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28th March 2013, Innerleithen

Luxury knitwear manufacturer faces liquidation threat

Caerlee Mills Ltd, the company which runs Scotland’s oldest continually operating knitwear mill has gone into provisional liquidation after a drop in orders has left the company in financial difficulty.

Caerlee Mill which is based in Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders region dates back to 1788 - although its current occupant Caerlee Mills Ltd was only set up in 2010 after a management buy-out from JJ & HB 1788 Cashmere Mills Limited, a company named after the original mill founders.

Previously the mill was in the ownership of the world renowned Ballantyne Cashmere company, which is famous for its luxury cashmere and hand intarsia knitwear.

Caerlee Mills Ltd, which traded as Ballantyne Cashmere Ltd, employs 36 people at the site and is said to have a turnover in the region of £1 million. The mill still produces handmade intarsia knitwear in cashmere and is one of the most highly skilled knitwear manufacturing facilities in the western world, making exquisite products for the top end luxury knitwear brands.

This video gives an insight into the manufacturing processes of the company and looks at the company’s unique luxury hand intarsia operation . . .

Provisional liquidators KPMG say they plan for the business to carry on trading while they search for a buyer. Blair Nimmo, head of restructuring for KPMG, has been appointed joint provisional liquidator and told The Scotsman newspaper:

“Caerlee Mills has a rich history dating back more than 200 years and remains an attractive acquisition for the right buyer. The company has been facing difficulties following trading losses and increasing cash-flow pressures, mainly resulting from a reduction in orders.

“There remains an excellent opportunity to acquire a well-known business which manufactures a top-quality product, and we are hopeful a buyer can be found.”



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