Ex-Rok boss Garvis Snook dies

Aaron Morby 10 months ago
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The former boss of failed building contractor Rok has died suddenly.

Snook took the Rok business from £4m revenue to nearly £700m before it spectacularly collapsed owing trade creditors over £200m
Snook took the Rok business from £4m revenue to nearly £700m before it spectacularly collapsed owing trade creditors over £200m

Garvis Snook, aged 67, died last week and had been running a kitchen installation firm in the south west, which he founded eight years ago following the collapse of Rok.

A member of staff said employees were waiting to see what the future held for the business.

The controversial industry entrepreneur came to prominence after presiding over the specular rise and fall of Rok.

Snook moved into mainstream construction after a stint running his own financially unsuccessful steel frame business in London in the early 1980s.

He returned to his native West Country where he joined Somerset builder Stanstell, which was soon snapped up by Morgan Sindall after Snook failed to secure a management buy-out.

After a brief stint as a director with Morgan Sindall, he left to run the local Exeter-based building contractor EBC in 2000.

His aggressive growth strategy for the business – which was renamed Rok – saw revenue soar from £4m to a near £700m turnover public company at one time valued at £450m.

But the self-styled nation’s local builder spectacularly collapsed into administration in 2010, just weeks after a profit-warning, weighed down by total debts of £360m.

This triggered thousands of job losses across its chain of 30 regional depots and hit subcontractors and suppliers for £201m.

Snook was chairman of the kitchen installation business Meddo, with his son Dominic Snook also working at the company.

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