Birmingham’s Bullion Room, hailed as ‘Europe’s premier precious metals dealer,’ has closed its doors amid an apparent cash crisis.
The Jewellery Quarter company is understood to have ceased trading, with the futures of around a dozen staff left in limbo.
The Bullion Room is part of Birmingham-based international investment company JEEG Global Group, set up by flamboyant Ferrari-driving entrepreneur Eamon Gaughan and his father in 2007.
Bosses at the firm declined to talk in detail about the apparent collapse, but Eamon Gaughan told the Post: “It is subject to High Court proceedings at the moment. I am not prepared to make any further comment – it does not affect any of the other companies in the group.”
Sources said the Bullion Room’s staff had been moved to other offices in the area. Nobody could be contacted at the firm’s offices in the Jewellery Quarter.
An insider said: “The staff do not know what is going on. It is an extremely worrying time for everybody.”
The Bullion Room has attracted publicity in recent times through the activities of Mr Gaughan, its founder and chief executive and his mushrooming JEEG Global Group.
The group grew over the last six years to include the Bullion Room, The Torque Project supercar showroom in Digbeth which sells Rolls-Royce Phantoms and Lamborghinis, and other firms.
The Bullion Room website says: “Based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter with a further branch in Manchester, we are one of the UK’s leading precious metal dealers.
“Specialising in the processing of scrap gold, scrap silver, scrap platinum and other precious metals from trade sources and dealers of investment products, we are trusted to provide the best service at the most competitive prices.”
Extravagant Mr Gaughan himself hit the headlines earlier this year when he announced that he was swapping life in the fast lane to raise £1 million for charity in just four weeks.
He said he had decided on a change of lifestyle after an uncle was diagnosed with cancer and subsequently died.
He announced that he was reducing his living expenses from £50,000 a month to just £800 by taking packed lunches to work, not eating out and forsaking alcohol, cigarettes and buying clothes.
Mr Gaughan said at the time: “Individually they may not seem massive sacrifices but together have totally changed every aspect of my life. I am fully aware that many people exist on far less than this every month but for me it has had a huge impact.”
In an interview with a Birmingham business magazine earlier this year, Mr Gaughan said of his wealth: “People often ask me this question: is it more than a million? Certainly. Is it tens of millions? I honestly don’t know.”
He said of the growth of the Bullion Room: “We opened a foundry to process our own gold so that we could sell directly to the market – and it’s grown from there. We can now melt 750 kilos of gold at a time, which is about £10 million worth, and we have people melting the gold 18 hours a day.
“The Bullion Room’s clients are independent jewellers and large pawnbroking chains, as well as investors and international institutions – we’ve pretty much got every large multi-national and plc company as our customer now.
“We now own the biggest chain of precious metal dealers in Greece, with 24 offices, and we’re going to roll it out across the whole of Europe, which will create about 1,000 jobs. We’ve also got licences to go into Russia and China.”
He said of his lifestyle: “If I’m going out for the evening, dinner can be £1,500 for two. Two things I really like in life are food and good champagne and wine. I don’t look at the prices; I look at the wine and if I like it, I buy it.”
He told of his love of driving his Ferrari 458 Spider, adding: “When I book into a hotel, I don’t order a room, I have a suite.”