Around 200 Lagan Construction staff members have been told to stay at home following the appointment of administrators at four of the firm’s construction businesses.
KPMG was officially appointed as the administrator yesterday for four Lagan Construction companies: Lagan Construction Group Holdings, Lagan Construction Group, Lagan Water and Lagan Building Contractors.
Lagan Construction boss Michael Lagan revealed last month he would be putting the companies into administration after admitting the firm had been hit by protracted contractual disputes on existing projects, as well as instability in one of its UK joint ventures.
Construction News understands the UK JV in question is its partnership with Spanish firm Ferrovial Agroman on the £500m M8 project in central Scotland.
KPMG administrators John Hansen and Stuart Irwin said the companies would not be trading in the short term, and has therefore asked most of the 200-plus workforce to stay at home.
The process will now likely take a number of days, with KPMG assessing the position of the companies and considering the options moving forward.
The administrators said: “We realise that this period of uncertainty is very difficult for all employees and stakeholders of the companies and the joint administrators are endeavouring to complete their assessment as quickly as possible.”
Lagan’s construction arms were delivering a number of major projects when the administration was announced last month, including several highways contracts in JV with John Sisk & Sons, and energy projects with French firm CNIM.
Mr Lagan had hoped some of the staff could be transferred to its JVs and others relocated to alternative divisions in the group.
Sisk confirmed two weeks ago it had begun the transfer of some Lagan Construction staff to its highways division.
The contractor was also delivering the £250m redevelopment of Ulster University alongside Spanish-owned company Somague.
Ulster University said it was currently in discussions with Somague on how to progress the delivery of the project to avoid further delay for the scheme, which has already been put back by a year and is not expected to be completed until the end of 2019.