Scotland business

Dawson International shares suspended

Woman wearing cashmere jumper
Image caption Dawson warned last month that the crisis in its pension scheme may drive it into administration

Shares in Dawson International, the cashmere-making company based in Hawick, have been suspended while directors decide whether they have to place it in administration.

The move follows the build-up of a large hole in the company's pension fund.

Dawson was once a leading presence in Scottish textiles, but has sold off parts, including Pringle knitwear.

It continues to run the Barrie mill in Hawick, employing nearly 200 people.

The mill makes cashmere garments, mainly for other luxury retail brands.

Last month the company's shares plunged after it announced that the pensions regulator and the Pension Protection Fund had rejected its attempt to put its pension plans into a protection fund.

It warned then that it may have to appoint administrators if the talks fail.

Although the directors are considering placing the UK business in administration, the company said the US knitwear business, Dawson Forte, is "well funded and continues to trade normally".

Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP John Lamont: "The priority in this situation must be to secure the 200 jobs that Dawson International provides to Hawick.

"They are a key employer and it would be disastrous to see so many families lose their livelihoods.

"The pension deal offered by Dawson International was a better one than insolvency would provide and it seems ludicrous that this was rejected when administration is now a real possibility."

He urged the Pension Protection Fund and pensions regulator to re-enter negotiations with Dawson.

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