Patton falls into administration
Northern Ireland based contractor Patton is in administration
The firm has offices in London and Milton Keynes and works on projects across the UK.
The business will continue to trade while administrator Tom Keenan of Keenan CF explores all possible options for the future, including sale of all or parts of the company.
The firm, which has traded for around 100 years, has a total turnover of £140m and employs around 320 staff.
Neil Patton, Chairman of the business, said: “This is a very sad day for everyone connected to this family business and the communities we have served for the last 100 years.
“The Directors have looked at every possible option to avoid administration, but it became inevitable because of the general downturn in the building sector, pressure on margins and the resultant impact on cashflow.
“Unfortunately, the company has suffered from the widespread downturn impacting the construction industry and, as a result, has experienced a decline in trading performance.
“The financial position facing the business was such that administration was the last remaining option available to the Directors.”
News of Patton’s troubles came as latest figures from the Insolvency Service showed a sharp drop in construction failures.
But experts warned that falling workloads mean the pace of failures could pick up again.
Mark Wilson, Restructuring and Recovery Partner at Baker Tilly said: “Surprisingly, administrations in the construction industry for Q3 2012 are down a thumping 24% on the previous quarter.
“These numbers fly in the face of the Office of National Statistics numbers released last month, which revealed that construction output for the three months to August 2012 was 11.6% lower than the corresponding quarter in 2011.
“Forecasts for growth in the sector are not strong, with a generally held view that growth has stalled until 2014.
“Whilst the insolvency figures should be welcome news, there must be a concern that they are lagging behind the trends being currently experienced in the industry.
“We still consider this sector to be one that will continue to experience pressure over forthcoming months.”