Dunne Group has entered administration after “severe cashflow pressures”, with 524 jobs axed.
Tom MacLennan, Iain Fraser and Geoff Rowley of FRP Advisory have been appointed joint administrators to the company and its five subsidiaries, known as the Dunne Group, as well as the UK civil engineering and construction business.
Construction News revealed the group was facing closure yesterday morning, before FRP was appointed around 5pm.
The company has ceased trading with immediate effect, resulting in the immediate loss of 524 of the 540 jobs employed across the group.
It is understood the company bid aggressively on a number of hospital contracts in Scotland, during the financial crisis, which led to its cashflow pressures.
CN understands the company had losses of over £1m.
One source who has been affected by the company going under told CN the Dunne Group situation was “a perfect example of everything that’s wrong in the industry, and that’s not just in terms of their company but also how they’ve been treated by bigger suppliers”.
The source added: “If they couldn’t sort it with their banks, why not? Were they being irresponsible in trying to get funding when they couldn’t afford to pay it or are the banks just not lending?
“You have to take Dunne in context with everything that goes around it: the recession; how banks have lended or not lended; how big name contractors have treated big subcontractors like Dunne.”
Mr MacLennan said: “This is a sad loss for the construction and building industry.
“The business faced substantial trading losses on some contracts, leading to severe cashflow pressures.”
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He added: “Additionally, rapid expansion led to pressure on working capital and a requirement for significant additional funding that was not available.
“Given these issues, the joint administrators have had to cease trading, resulting in 524 employees being made redundant.”
The administrator said a team of 16 staff will be retained to help with the closure process and realisation of the business’ assets.
“Our priority is to work closely with all agencies and services to ensure employees receive every support and assistance at this very difficult time,” he said.
Dunne Group had grown rapidly in recent years with major contract wins including three high-profile projects in London – Newington Butts, 100 Bishopsgate and One Blackfriars. Although Construction News understands these are not the reason for the company’s collapse.
Turnover last year was £74m and was forecast this year to hit £96m.
Construction News revealed that workers for the organisation had turned up for work on Tuesday morning, only to have been sent home on sites.
A source close to 100 Bishopsgate told CN at the time: “There’s no [Dunne Group] labour on site [of the scheme] – they’ve been told to stay at home.” Brookfield Multiplex declined to comment.
The Dunne Group received a £50,203 county court judgement on 12 July, according to credit reference and debt recovery agency Top Service, although there was no reason given as to why it was issued.
The group operates in the UK and Ireland. It provides services including main contracting, property development, plant hire and subcontracting. Its divisions are:
- Dunne Building and Civil Engineering Ltd
- Dunne (BCE) Ltd
- CLR Plant Hire Limited
- Dunne Developments Limited
- Dunne Concrete Flooring Limited
- Conforce Limited