Management buyout saves Hewlett

Grant Prior 11 years ago

A buyout by the senior management team at Hewlett has saved 300 jobs at the civil engineering specialist which went into administration on Monday.

Bosses of the firm blasted their bankers Lloyds TSB for calling in administrators BDO.

The new owners are managing director Alan Cooper and ex-chairman John Duffy who is now a consultant to the firm.

Cooper said: “We are extremely disappointed by the banks decision to call in the administrators.

“It was a hostile move and a judgement which was premature and not backed by the directors.

“However, I’m pleased that the acquisition of the business and assets has been completed so quickly, ensuring the future of the business and of its employees.

“I am extremely grateful for the support of the staff and clients in what has been a difficult few days for the company, and remain confident the business will soon regain its momentum.

“Hewlett is a 25-year old business with a strong identity and successful track record. Renewed independence will enable us to continue to develop the business in the direction that we choose and respond quickly to a challenging market whilst focusing on the needs of our clients and our employees.

“We look forward to continue to serve our core client base in the UK, while also looking towards opportunities overseas.”

The business will continue to trade under the new Hewlett Construction name and intends keeping its current workforce.

The firm said: “It is hoped most contracts held will be bestowed to the new company helping to protect many of the jobs.”

A spokesman from Lloyds TSB told the Yorkshire Post: “Administration is always a last resort and we have worked with the company’s management for a number of months to try and find a consensual solution which would put the business on a sounder financial footing.

“We have provided considerable support, for example, through several temporary increases in facilities and a waiving of covenants.”

But he said it “did not prove possible to restructure without a formal insolvency process”.

Hewlett Construction is no longer banking with Lloyds TSB.

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