Cladding firm Astec falls into administration

Grant Prior 10 years ago

Cladding specialist Astec Projects has been placed in administration with the loss of 65 jobs.

The Enquirer understands that shocked staff were given the news last Friday.

It is understood that Astec’s bankers at Barclays called in administrators Deloitte following cash-flow problems at the £45m turnover firm which is based in Reading.

Deloitte is now working with 20 retained senior staff in a bid to find a buyer for the business or novate some of its current contracts.

Deloitte said: “The business is a leading provider of cladding solutions, trading with a turnover of £45m.

“It employed 85 people from its freehold head office in Reading and satellite offices in Newport, South Wales and Burntwood, Staffs. Out of the 85 employees, 20 will be retained, while 65 were made redundant.

“The administrators plan to cease trading, and retain a small team whilst investigating the possibility of a sale of the business or takeover of its approximately £30m order book.

“Following a period of exceptional growth, the business was unable to fund its working capital requirements going forward.”

Astec is known to be working on jobs for Mace and Morgan Sindall and was due to start its largest ever contract for Ballymore this month.

The £10m deal for Ballymore was for the cladding and glazing elements of the latest phase of the Embassy Gardens project in Nine Elms, London.

Astec signed the deal in February and was due to start on site this month.

One company source said: “It’s so frustrating and such a shock.

“The staff were stunned and it is so sad knowing that we had a great pipeline of work.”

Astec celebrated its 20th anniversary in January.

Managing Director Rik Lenney said at the time: “The last few years have not been the best within the Construction Industry and Astec Projects like other companies in our field have experienced difficult times.

“But during the recession we have managed to build upon our success, opening two new offices; holding and increasing staffing levels; and recapturing and building turnover.

“Moving into 2014 on the back of winning our largest contract to date – the £10m Embassy Gardens project for Ballymore – with the hard work and dedication of our staff we have secured a strong order book and pipeline and look towards a brighter 2014 and beyond.”


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