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Contractors sought for £150m Haymills jobs

Agents for collapsed Haymills are seeking contractors for jobs in London worth as much as £150m.

Consultancy Naismiths is working to place work left behind when Vinci bought Haymills’ Property Solutions and East Anglian Projects divisions last week.

Administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers closed the firm’s remaining London and South division with the loss of 100 jobs and several main contracts.

Work up for grab includes what remains of a £25 million deal to redevelop Bishop Challoner Catholic Collegiate School into a learning village in Tower Hamlets for client Archdiocese of Westminster Education.

Haymills was also working on a £25m contract to refurbish and extend Croydon College, which sub-contractors are understood to be owed outstanding payments on.

According to business intelligence unit Glenigan, Haymills’ London and South division had 25 contracts worth more than £150m. These ranged from offices and schools to a ballet school and a football clubhouse.

PwC lead partner Stephen Oldfield said firms wanting to bid for any of the work should get in touch with the administrator.

“We are working on how to deal with the projects that were in progress in London,” he said. “Naismiths is looking at solutions, and interested parties should contact PwC.”

Haymills – which had a turnover of £181.2 million for the year ended 31 March 2008 – entered administration briefly last week before the majority of it was bought by Vinci. It had been the subject of intense speculation since putting its Gibraltar arm into voluntary liquidation.

The company was forced to delay payment of staff wages and money owed to sub-contractors after RBS removed its overdraft facility.

PwC lead partner Stephen Oldfield told Construction News that a single contract in Gibraltar had been the root of the company’s problems.

“When a large contract goes wrong, it puts a serious drag on a business,” he said.

“When the Gibraltar arm went into liquidation, this crystalised a significant claim from Gibraltar into the UK group, and a solvent solution looked very unlikely indeed.”