Michael Coombes, CEO of British smartphone designer Wileyfox has confirmed that the company has gone into administration. It follows widespread rumours that have been circulating since the beginning of the week.
"The purpose of the administration is to restructure the Wileyfox Group, reduce its cost base in Europe and to ensure its long-term future across all the markets it operates in," wrote Coombes in an email to CNET.
Six staffers will remain at the company to help the administrators assess whether the business can remain viable, while 20 workers have been made redundant.
"We are looking at prospective interested parties to buy the goodwill and IPR [intellectual property rights] associated with the business to take forward the operations in Europe," Andronikou said.
Coombes' confirmation comes after a community manager at Wileyfox used Reddit to leak the news.
"Wileyfox Europe Limited is in Administration. Andrew Andronikou and Andrew Hosking are appointed joint administrators and act jointly and severely without personal liability," the community manager, named 'Wileyfox-Jack', said. He also admitted that he was one of the 20 laid off.
Andronikou and Hosking, who work for business advisory firm Quantuma, have since confirmed that Wileyfox has called them in. They say that Wileyfox hit major funding issues when its Russian backer was restricted from lending money abroad by the Central Bank of Russia.
No further details have yet been made public, but so-called 'Wileyfox-Jack' said in his Reddit that those with a Wileyfox smartphone unlikely will receive any future operating system updates "unless something drastically changes".
Wileyfox first entered the smartphone scene in 2015 with the release of the budget Storm and Swift mobes, which shipped running the now-defunct Cyanogen OS.
The company decided to create its own ROM following the collapse of Cyanogen and most recently launched the Wileyfox Add-X range, discounted smartphones with lock screen adverts.
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