Bowen shuts up shop as Duffy chases debts
A subcontractor has issued a winding-up petition against Bowen plc over an unpaid debt after operations at the Twickenham based firm were suspended last week.
Bowen is a major player in Ireland and has a substantial UK business run by an experienced team of ex-Mowlem bosses.
The UK staff of 29 were stunned when they were told not to report for work on May 19.
The Irish Times said the UK operation is now facing a winding-up order from Duffy Contract Services over an unpaid bill of £200,000.
Duffy Contract Services is the labour hire and small works division of the concrete specialist Duffy Construction.
Bowen plc told the paper it is dealing with some trading issues that have resulted in a decision to suspend activities while the company works with its advisers to agree the best way forward.
A statement said: “This has resulted in staff being asked not to report for work.”
It vowed to provide further clarification on the situation as soon as possible.
A Bowen staffer told the Enquirer: “This whole business has been a nightmare and very frustrating.
“We have some great work in the pipeline but we have been hit by what’s happening in Ireland and a bad debt on one of our major schemes.”
The disputed payment is believed to involve the £27m Syon Park Hotel contract in Isleworth which was completed in February 2010.
The petition to wind up the business relates only to Bowen plc, and not to the group’s Irish operations, which are continuing to trade as normal.
The latest figures show Bowen plc made a profit of £111,599 on a turnover of £22.3m in 2009.
The company works mainly on mid-sized contracts in London and south-east England.
The management team is headed by ex-Mowlem men CK Patel, Ray Cutts and Ian Posnett and the firm specialises in commercial, residential and industrial contracts up to £100m
Jobs completed by Bowen include Farnborough sixth form college