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In-depth: Laing O'Rourke's financing history

In its most recent accounts for the year ending 31 March 2017, Laing O’Rourke’s loans from banks and shareholders stood at £208.3m.

Its last big refinancing took place in the first half of 2016, which saw the company secure £61m of new banking facilities and take on a £23.6m loan from its principle shareholders.

Since then the company has secured extra short-term financing and short-term extensions to existing facilities ahead of agreeing a more comprehensive refinancing deal.

Last February it acquired a two-year £13.7m banking facility secured against its property and took on a £15m loan from its principle shareholder, which is due for repayment this April.

Laing O’Rourke also agreed a short-term extension of its other facilities that were due to mature on 31 October last year to 30 April this year.

When the company released its annual report for 2017 last March, it said it expected to finalise its refinancing by the middle of 2018.

The Australian business was refinanced in June, when its previous facilities matured, but refinancing the UK business has taken longer than expected.

In October the company released an update which set the expected date for completion of refinancing as the end of 2018.

Founder and chief executive Ray O’Rourke blamed the collapse of other contractors in 2018 and the withdrawal of “significant funding” to the sector for making the refinancing of the company more difficult.

This week the company released a new update, which revealed terms of the deal were agreed over Christmas but have not yet been finalised.

Laing O’Rourke’s borrowing profile has fluctuated significantly over the past five years, falling from £192m in 2013 to £65.5m in 2015 before rising to more than £200m in 2017.

The firm has invested a lot of capital in its offsite manufacturing facility in Nottinghamshire but is yet to generate positive returns from it.

Additionally there were problems with the first generation of projects produced using O’Rourke’s design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) method, which cost the firm £43.3m in 2016.

Laing O’Rourke claims the problems are “unlikely” to reoccur on the second generation, but Mr O’Rourke would not confirm to Construction News last October that its DfMA operations would contribute a profit in 2018.

Laing O’Rourke has also incurred huge losses on a CAD$2.1bn (£1.24bn) PFI hospital contract in Montreal, Canada over the past few years.

It contributed to a pre-tax loss for the company of more than £300m for the 2016 and 2017 financial years combined.

The company has exited the project and finance director Stewart McIntyre told CN last year the scheme would not have a significant effect on its 2018 results.

Excluding the hospital and other exceptional costs, the company reported an underlying operating profit of £35m for 2017.

Founder and chief executive Ray O’Rourke told CN in October that the firm’s turnaround was “complete” and it would show a profit on a non-underlying basis for 2018.

  • Laing O'Rourke logo

    In-depth: Laing O'Rourke's financing history

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