A BUS company which folded suddenly, ending 107 years of service, collapsed after being unable to find a buyer.

Leyland-based John Fishwick & Sons ceased trading in October.

Founded in 1907, its green liveried buses were a familiar sight around South Ribble, Chorley and Preston.

Their fleet consisted of 34 buses and coaches and they also maintained a heritage fleet and a holiday tour business.

At the time , the company said: “With effect from midnight Saturday, October 24, John Fishwick and Sons will cease to operate.

“We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our passengers for their custom and support over the years.

Lindsey Cooper and Jeremy Woodside of RSM Restructuring Advisory were appointed joint administrators shortly after.

A published statement of administrator's proposals last month stated Fishwick's suffered a decline in turnover and profitability in recent years due to budget airlines offering affordable overseas travel and the reduction in local authority concessionary fare income and fuel duty rebate.

The report said the company had been in talks with a prospective buyer.

It said: "During the last 12 months, the directors had been in discussions with an interested party with a view to selling the share capital of the company.

"Ultimately, the sale did not progress and the company's trading position worsened.

"As a solvent share sale could not be achieved, the directors concluded that the business was no longer viable without significant restructuring, which it did not have the working capital to finance.

"In respect of the accelerated sale process, we prepared a sales flyer and this was sent to over 100 bus and coach companies situated in the UK and invited offers for whole or part of the business.

"No formal offers were received for the business and assets."

Immediately upon the appointment of administrators, all Fishwick's staff were made redundant.

The company's 34 buses and coaches, a recovery truck and service van are currently being auctioned online.

According to the report, the company's sole secured creditor NatWest is owed £189,603, which is expected to be repaid in full.

Preferential creditors, comprising former employees of the company, are claiming £107,018. This sum is also expected to be fully repaid.