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Dawnus files for administration

Exclusive: Dawnus Construction has filed to put the entire group and all its subsidiaries into administration, Construction News has learned.

CN understands that staff were informed of the move yesterday evening by directors at the Swansea-based firm.

Grant Thornton has been appointed as administrators of the company and Hilco is also involved.

A representative from Hilco was due to be on every Dawnus site by around 9am and take control. Locks on the regional offices will be changed today as well.

Staff and operatives have been told they will receive no more pay from the firm and any shortfall in wages or expenses will have to be claimed through the administration process.

Email accounts will be closed by the end of the week and phone accounts are expected to be cut off next week.

Directors have told staff to direct enquiries from clients and suppliers to Dawnus’ head office where they will be dealt with by Grant Thornton.

Earlier this week workers downed tools on city centre road works in Manchester and Swansea as subcontractors claimed they were owed hundreds of thousands by Dawnus.

Dawnus has suffered large losses over the past five years as it lost around £15m primarily related to its work in West Africa in 2014 and 2015.

Its operations in the region, where it carried out infrastructure work for mining clients, were hit by the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and the insolvency of a number of clients.

In its last filed accounts for the year ending 31 December 2017 the company reported a reduced pre-tax loss of £1.4m. Crucially its cash reserves of £7.2m held in 2016 were reduced to zero by the end of 2017.

In the last CN100 Dawnus was ranked as the 74th largest contractor in the UK with turnover of £170m.

Grant Thornton and Dawnus have been contacted for comment.

More to follow.

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