Geoffrey Osborne files administration notice

Grant Prior 1 month ago

Contractor Geoffrey Osborne has filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator.

The move comes after an 18-month long restructuring programme to focus on the core construction business and attempts to secure new funding.

Osborne said it is currently in talks with interested parties “with the ambition that aspects of the business will be sold and will continue to trade.”

In a statement the firm said: “Osborne has faced significant headwinds common to the entire construction over the past two years, fuelled by high inflation, the lingering impacts of COVID-19 and Brexit, and a slowdown in public sector procurement.

“Despite these challenges, Osborne has maintained strong relationships with suppliers, contractors and staff, while delivering for customers.

“To address this under-performance and protect the underlying construction business Osborne has sold its property management division, infrastructure business and offsite manufacturing arm securing the employment of over 850 jobs.

“The proceeds of all three sales have been reinvested into the construction business, which has continued to deliver projects in London and the south east.

“Regrettably despite a substantive improvement in performance the residual losses on legacy projects have undermined performance which has impacted on the ability to win new work.

“Despite the management team ensuring the current business is profitable with a good pipeline of work the business has struggled to secure the necessary investment to continue as a going concern.”

The famous industry name was founded in 1966 by civil engineer Geoffrey Osborne and its main shareholders are still the Osborne family.

Latest published accounts for the firm showed a turnover for the year to September 30 2021 of £325.8m generating a pre-tax profit of £2m while employing 800 staff.

Last year group chief executive Mark Hoyland stepped down after just one month in the top job while its offsite business Innovaré was sold to Bowmer & Kirkland.

The expanding Cardo Group also bought Osborne Property Services Limited (OPSL) last year while its infrastructure business was sold in 2021.

Chairman Andrew Osborne said: “Everyone in the construction industry knows the challenges of the past few years and Osborne has worked hard to continue to deliver projects.

“Our management team has done everything possible to look after our people and protect suppliers, while seeking to trade through the economic headwinds. While today’s decision to move towards administration is a last resort, it is now the right thing to do while we continue to seek external investment.”

Osborne, who took over as Chairman of the family business in 2012, added: “Osborne has built and maintained £10billion of the nation’s infrastructure during 58 years of trading, working on homes, schools, hospitals, universities, retail and more.

None of it would have been possible without our people, customers and supply chain. I thank each and every one of them.”

Data and credit checking specialist Red Flag Alert highlighted the firms’ administration notice with its regular checks of high court construction insolvency applications.

Subscribers to the Red Flag Alert service benefit from early warnings about the financial health of companies to help them avoid bad debts.

The Enquirer has linked-up with Red Flag Alert to offer readers a discount on its services and help you avoid worthless invoices from insolvent companies.

For more information and to benefit from the Enquirer discount click here.

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