SMC Direct has been placed in receivership amid rumours of an increasing burden of debt.

Horwath Clark Whitehill & Co has been appointed as the company’s receivers. No staff have been made redundant yet and the company was continuing to trade today, although only cash was being accepted and goods had to be collected from the company premises in Slough.

Andrew Pear, the receiver dealing with the case at Horwath Clark Whitehill confirmed that they had been called in on 23 June and that the aim was to sell the company as a going concern.

He declined to comment on the company’s level of debt but added that a number of potential buyers for the company had come forward.

Pear confirmed that warranties with original manufacturers would remain unaffected.

SMC had previously won an e-commerce award from the Department of Trade and Industry for its Web site. It was also a member of the PC Association and was part of the Consumer Association’s Web Trader programme.

Horwath Clark Whitehill also dealt with the collapse of Pico Direct and the successful sale of that company.