Construction Manager reports that Hawk Plant (UK), one of the biggest independent plant hire companies in the UK, has gone into administration.
The company was reportedly dragged down by historical problems with contracts, including the fallout from the liquidation of Carillion a year ago.
EY announced that it has been appointed joint administrator of Hawk Plant (UK) as well as its subsidiaries Hawk Plant Hire, Hawk Hire, Safety and Training, Hawk Plant and Hawk Plant Sales.
The group, based in Prees in north west Shropshire, had a turnover of £93.5m in the year to December 2017, on which it made a pre-tax profit of £515,000.
But the company, which has more than 40 years experience in the plant hire industry, noted in its annual accounts for 2017 that it had been hit by the liquidation of Carillion in January 2018, resulting in the rescheduling of some of its contracts.
Nonetheless, at the time, a directors’ report said: "Due to the high level of credit insurance in place on Carillion there will be a minimal write of balances outstanding at the time of liquidation."
Commenting on the administration, EY joint administrator Sam Woodward, said: "The group’s cashflow had been impacted by a number of historical problematic contracts and a delay in the commencement of anticipated projects. Coupled with this, the Group’s funding structure, with significant hire purchase and finance lease commitments put pressure on the cashflow at a time that asset utilisation was comparatively low".
On appointment of the administrators, 83 of the group’s 420 employees were made redundant.
Subsidiary Enverity, a ground survey and sight inspection business based in Newark, which employs an additional 20+ staff, remains solvent and unaffected by the administration.
Woodward continued: "We will now begin the process of seeking to find a suitable buyer for Hawk, to ensure the best possible outcome for all of the group’s stakeholders. In the meantime, we will seek to minimise the impact on the customer base by keeping assets on hire and maintaining service levels."