Roadbridge supply chain owed millions on HS2

Grant Prior 4 months ago

Subcontractors and suppliers are holding outstanding invoices worth millions for work on HS2 following the failure of civils contractor Roadbridge.

The firm is now in the hands of receivers from Grant Thornton who are “seeking to maximise asset realisations for the benefit of the company’s creditors.”

Roadbridge UK was working on two HS2 sites where hundreds of its staff were sent home last week.

The firm’s contracts on the project are understood to have been worth up to £60m.

The largest deal was in a joint venture with Tarmac working for main contractor EKFB (Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall).

Roadbridge was also working on a smalller contractor as a subcontractor to the Align JV of Bouygues, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick.

One site source said: “This all unraveled pretty quickly and has left a lot of suppliers owed money.

“HS2 is the biggest job in the country and no-one expects to be out of pocket working on such a high profile project.”

An HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “Roadbridge UK was delivering a number of subcontracts for our main works contractors, both directly and as part of a joint venture with Tarmac.

“Contingency plans are in place and talks ongoing with Tarmac who remain responsible for delivering contracts signed by the joint venture. We are monitoring the situation.”

Grant Thornton is now in charge of Roadbridge UK and its parent company Roadbridge Limited (RBL) in Ireland.

The receiver said: “Following significant cashflow pressures, the group, its bankers and its advisors worked very hard to deliver a successful future for the business.  However, a buyer for the group has not been found and the Company and RBL were unable to continue to trade.

Rob Parker, Director at Grant Thornton UK LLP, added: “It is very disappointing that efforts to save the Company and other companies within the RBL group from insolvency were not successful and our efforts now turn to supporting the Company’s employees during this difficult time and seeking to maximise asset realisations for the benefit of the Company’s creditors.

“We are currently assessing whether it is possible to salvage some or all of the business and invite any interested parties to get in touch with the joint administrations, however operations have temporarily ceased, whilst we explore the options available”.

In the UK, the company employed approximately 215 staff and “the majority of employees have been temporarily sent home, pending further updates whilst a strategy for the administration is being reviewed.”

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