Major steelwork firm files administration warning

Aaron Morby 9 years ago
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West Sussex-based steelwork contractor Graham Wood Structural has filed a notice of intent to appoint an administrator.

The firm, which is owned by the Irish SIAC Construction Group, specialises in complex structural steel projects, particularly inner city refurbishments.

The notice of intent to appoint an administrator gives Graham Wood temporary protection from any legal action by creditors.

The company is not in administration and still under complete control of its directors.

Graham Wood’s most recent job was on Willmott Dixon’s £20m Knole Academy project in Sevenoaks which is still under construction.

Its workshop and fabrication unit at Lancing is capable of producing 12,000 tonnes of fabricated steel per year.

But the firm has been hard hit by the downturn and saw turnover of £30m in 2011 slump to £13m in 2012, delivering operating losses of £1.5m and £1.2m respectively.

At the time of submitting its latest accounts Graham Wood employed 25 management and office staff with around 50 operatives.

Owners, the SIAC Group, ran into financial trouble last year and were placed into examinership in October, owing €42m to three banks, KBC, Bank of Scotland and Bank of Ireland.

SIAC’s problems stemmed from road building ventures in Poland, which became mired in problems with the local authorities responsible for managing the projects.

Last week, the Feighery family, majority shareholders of SIAC Holdings, together with French giant Bouygues struck a deal with the court appointed Examiner to rescue the SIAC Construction group of companies.

Martin Maher CEO said: “I am relieved that subject to creditor and court approval the SIAC group established in 1913 can once again strive to be a leading Irish construction business.

“I would like to thank our creditors, clients, partners and employees for the patience and support that they have shown during this process and hope that the scheme structure provided will in some way negate the difficulties experienced by the company’s creditors and preserve a significant number of jobs.”

Graham Wood Structural is understood to owe £2.6m to several SIAC Group companies for funds advanced to support the steelwork business.

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