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Doyle collapsed owing £48m after 45 firms rejected construction arm

Forty-five firms rejected approaches by administrators attempting to sell Doyle’s concrete business before the group collapsed owing £47.7 million to its unsecured creditors.

Doyle group - chaired by Stef Stefanou and which sat at number 100 in the 2011 CNinsight 100 contractor league table - collapsed in June.

A creditors’ report by administrators Deloitte shows that by 21 June, the company employed 290 staff, mainly in John Doyle Construction, but also across other subsidiaries including fit out and development arm Ibex Interiors and Blythewood Plant Hire.

Unsecured creditors covers its supply chain. The total debts, including secured creditors, come to just over £68m.

The report shows that Deloitte approached 45 potential buyers and 15 financial investors in an effort to sell JDC.

The 45 ‘declined the opportunity citing pressurised timescales, lack of strategic fit, lack of certainty to contracts, financial performance, lack of up to date management information and challenging sector’. There was no interest from financial investors due to the challenging sector conditions.

Administrators decided that the closure and ‘piecemeal’ sale of assets would have a better outcome for creditors.

The group was instructed to sell Ibex in February.

But in view of the firm’s ‘significantly increased funding requirement’ in March, its bank - the Bank of Scotland - instructed Deloitte to review the group’s short-term cash flow.

Doyle’s debts mounted and it realised it needed further funding to get through June.  

There were two interested parties circling Ibex by 20 June, but one offer was assessed as ‘not best value’, while another withdrew.

Blythewood saw a management buy out and a third party offer rejected.

Administrators said:  “As the administrators do not expect any funds will be available to the unsecured creditors, other than by virtue of a PP (prescribed part) distribution, meetings of creditors will not be held.”

Between March 2011 and March 2012, Doyle’s funding needs doubled from £8m to £16m as ‘suppliers demanded shorter credit terms while customers delayed payments to the group’.

Money owed to unsecured creditors

Doyle Plc:  £14.7m
Bell Projects:  £5.5m
Blythewood Plant Hire:  £3.5m
John Doyle Construction:  £9.4m
John Doyle Employees Benefit Trust Company:  £0.5m
John Doyle Holdings:  £2.9m
Ibex Interiors:  £11.9m

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