A MALDON company specialising in restoring premium classic cars has gone into administration.

JD Classics Ltd, based in Wycke Hill Business Park in the town, has gone into administration following the business and its assets being put up for sale.

The company is one of the leading UK businesses specialising in restoring, racing and trading premium classic vehicles celebrated around the world.

It owns more than 110 valuable classic cars, including those by Aston Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar and Maserati, and has 60 employees.

On September 10, Mark Firmin, Richard Beard and Richard Fleming, Managing Directors at Alvarez & Marsal Europe LLP (A&M), were appointed as Joint Administrators for the company.

A&M have stated the existing situation has come about as a result of the company uncovering a number of historical financial irregularities.

The company have stated he individuals involved in these irregularities left the business in June this year, at which point a new management team was put in place, which is reported to have made “considerable progress” in stabilising the business and improving operations.

The company operates out of a 150,000 square foot facility with a flagship showroom in Mayfair.

In 2014, it secured a £30 million funding deal from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to carry out expansion plans.

In the 2015-16 financial year the company saw its profits soar to £21.1m on £121.8m sales. An Italian private equity business, Charme Captial, bought a majority stake in JD Classics last September.

Mark Firmin, of A&M, said: “Whilst JD Classics has now entered administration, the business continues to trade. We are hopeful that a sale can be achieved in the next few days, ensuring the ongoing employment of the workforce.”

"The company benefits from an outstanding collection of cars, a bespoke restoration facility and a team of world class craftsmen and engineers. We have informed employees about the process today and will continue to keep them updated on developments. We are grateful for their hard work and support during this time.

"We will be contacting customers, creditors and parties with cars currently being restored or situated at the premises over the next few days."

In April this year, Essex Life Magazine named the company’s former owner Derek Hood, who ran the company since 1987, the 30th richest person in Essex. He left the company in June. 

Earlier this year, Mr Hood was sued by businessman Mike Tuke for alleged fraudulent business activity.

Following his first trial in April this year, ‎Mr Hood was found to have engaged in "deliberate and dishonest conduct" in his dealings with Mr Tuke.

Several other legal claims are understood to be ongoing.