THE former boss of an arb and forestry equipment supplier that went bust has apologised. 

Long-established family business FR Jones & Son announced it had gone into administration last month, bringing an end to more than 40 years of trading. 

This came after an intense period of speculation over the firm's future, with members of various online arb communities debating whether it had gone bankrupt and fearing they would not be refunded money for unfulfilled orders.

READ MORE: Shock as well-known arb retailer goes into liquidation

Confirming all staff had been made redundant and the retailer's IP had been handed over to Honey Brothers by administrators, Justin Jones, grandson of founder Fred Jones, today said he "was not expecting this to happen". 

In an online statement, he said: "I can only apologise to all customers, suppliers, staff family and friends. I was not expecting this to happen.

"It has been tough, but was assured from the company that have owned us since 2017 that they would support.

"The administration sold our IP and database to Honey Brothers and I've been working with them to hand everything over.

"I want to thank everyone for the support over the years and apologise to all those that have been let down."

Established over 40 years ago, FR Jones & Son was a trusted supplier to the trade, offering everything from ropes to chainsaws to chippers, with brands including Stihl, Husqvarna, DMM and Arbortec.

Founded by the late Fred Jones, it remained a family enterprise under the control of his son Bob and Justin, with a brick-and-mortar outlet as well as an online store.

As we have previously reported, Arvindar Singh and Ben Jones of FRP Advisory Trading were appointed as administrators of FR Jones on June 26, with the company ceasing to trade immediately. 

A statement added: “The affairs, business and property of the Company are being managed by the Administrators and who act as agents of the Company without personal liability.

“Insolvency Practitioners are bound by the Insolvency Code of Ethics when carrying out all professional work relating to an insolvency appointment.”

However, in his statement, Justin suggested not all customers had been contacted by the administrators so far.

"I was assured that they would contact all customers (we supplied them with a list) with outstanding orders and advise them to claim their money back from however they had paid, credit card, debit card, PayPal etc," he said. "I'm not sure they did what they were supposed to so I want to inform here. 

"When they took over all staff were made redundant including me and we had strict rules forced upon us from the administration."

essentialARB has contacted FRP Advisory Trading for a response.