Rok Scottish bosses angry over PwC buyout snub

Grant Prior 14 years ago

Former Rok bosses in Scotland claim they could have saved the business and 700 jobs but their bid was snubbed by administrator Pwc.

The Inverness Courier reported that a management team from the Scottish arm, backed by local tycoon George Fraser, tried to buy the failed business.

The group tabled an offer last Friday and is convinced a deal could have been done if administrator PwC had further discussions before announcing the final tranche of job losses in Inverness on Tuesday.

Fraser told the Courier: “People who have given a lot to the company now find themselves out of work and as far as I am concerned that didn’t need to be the case.”

A total of 315 employees in Inverness have now been made redundant. Nine remain to wind down the company but will also lose their jobs.

Fraser worked for Tulloch Construction for more than 25 years and was managing director of the company before it was sold to Rok. He is currently chairman of Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club.

He was approached by Rok Scotland managing director Andy Mallice and other members of the management team when the company was placed into administration and agreed to assist in a buyout of the Scottish construction division.

Fraser met the administrators last week and put in an offer on Friday which would have seen the construction division continue and the majority of employees retained.

But PwC chose not to pursue it and instead negotiated with a London contractor, a deal which fell through. Had discussions re-opened at this stage, Fraser believes agreement could have been reached.

He said: “We had no opportunity to have any further discussions with them.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers claims only one party had the ability to “transact in a short period of time” and none put forward an “acceptable” offer.

But Fraser believes the management team could have presented an acceptable deal with further discussions.

He said: “We feel we could have shortened our time scale to make things happen, but we never had the opportunity to discuss it in detail because they choose to run with one party rather than two.”

He strongly believes it would have avoided the redundancy of more than 700 Scottish employees. The Scottish division, he added, was making several millions pounds profit and had secured work in excess of £73m.

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