Henry Construction crashes into administration

Aaron Morby 12 months ago

Henry Construction Projects has gone into administration leaving hundreds of suppliers and subcontractors out of pocket.

Henry's sites have been at a standstill for several days
Henry's sites have been at a standstill for several days

Insolvency experts from FRP Advisory took control of the London-based residential tower builder yesterday evening.

The collapse ends weeks of speculation about the contractor which has been strangling its supply chain of payments for several months.

In the last few days, the firm’s major sites ground to a halt with clients and subcontractors left in the dark about Henry’s problems.

Amid the recent confusion, at least two Henry site managers are said to have been assaulted in recent days by fuming subbies seeking payment.

The Enquirer has been told that plant and machinery has also disappeared from many sites in the last fortnight.

One rival main contractor said: “Henry’s have been buying work for years and it all seems to have come to ahead as soaring costs and labour caught up with the firm.

“I feel sorry for everybody caught up in this mess, but clients must ask themselves what role they played going with such low bids.”

An insider said he had been told the preliminary list of trade creditors already totalled around £50m.

He added: “Talk is the amount owed could go to £100m and as many as 400 firms could be hit.

“Henry’s tended to go with many smaller specialist contractors rather than big package firms so its going to send shock ways through the industry.”

An out-of-pocket subcontractor, said: “It got to the point where the only way to get paid was to threaten to walk off the job or join the queue filing a winding up petitions.

“It’s been bad for months and a lot of us saw what was coming but we were in to deep to get out.”

A manager lured to join Henry just a fortnight ago to help manage second fit at a London tower, said: “They promised me very good pay,  so I left the firm I’ve been with for years and now I’ve got nothing. I’m furious.”

Established by Mark Henry, aged 45,  Henry Construction started out as a RC frame contractor, growing fast and taking on bigger jobs to become a residential tower main contractor, mainly around London, but with big jobs also dotted around the country from Southampton to Manchester.

Last year Henry reported revenue had topped £400m for the first time generating a £14m pre-tax profit, compared to just five years ago when turnover stood at £111m. In latest accounts, the firm said it employed just 49 staff.

Henry had at least 30 jobs on the go where it was main contractor. Many were running months late as payment disputes slowed progress on projects.

The 225 City Road project, known as The Arc, where Henry was six months late on programme facing monthly LADs of over £1m

Henry Construction Projects is the second firm to collapse run by Mark Henry. His previous firm Lancsville went down in 2009 owing £23m.

Set up by his father William Henry in 1976 as a concrete frame contractor, Mark Henry took over running the business in 2002, growing the business into a design and build contractor lifting revenue from £20m to £140m.

It operated alongside then smaller firms Henry Construction and Henry Cranes which also fell into administration.

Lancsville was also under seige from winding up petitions at the time before buckling to call in administrators from FRP Advisory.

Henry Construction Projects, set up in September 2010, bought some of the failed firms’ assets in February 2011 paying £210,000.

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