Forrest sites closed as contractor tries to refinance business

Grant Prior 3 months ago
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The directors of Bolton-based Forrest are trying to refinance the business.

The Enquirer has been contacted by worried subcontractors and employees after rumours forced the company to deny it was in administration.

It is understood that work has stopped on key sites in Manchester and Liverpool.

One source told the Enquirer: “There is no guarantee staff will be paid for November but the management say they are confident that a solution will be found so that staff will be paid.

“If the banks say no to the proposed refinance deal we’ve been told there are apparently several buyers interested in buying all or part of the group,” he added.

One subcontractor said: “We’ve been working on a few sites for them and one was closed down last week.

“We’ve had no joy with their head office trying to get an answer on what exactly is going on.”

Forrest chief financial officer Keith Reid told the Bolton News:  “We are aware that there are a lot of rumours in the market, but at the moment the company is not in administration.

“The company is in the process of trying to secure a refinance deal and if we are unsuccessful there are a number of other viable options that we are working on.”

Forrest agreed its last financial restructuring in March 2017 after racking-up pre-tax losses of nearly £26m in two years.

Following that deal Reid said: “The refinance puts the financial risk behind us and provides liquidity to support the planned growth.”

Forrest’s revised strategy has been to target residential new build work.

One employee said: “I’ve got a strong sense of deja vu about all this because we have all been here before.”

Last filed accounts for holding company Ensco 996 for the year to March 2017 show the firm has a turnover of £82m and employed 443 people.

Two new companies – Forrest Construct and Forrest Services – were registered in August with Reid and Mark Nicholson named as key directors.

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