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Contracts sold off as Curzon Interiors falls to cashflow and hotel refurb problems

NEWS

RECEIVERS of failed fit-out company Curzon Interiors are selling off the firm's contracts after axing nearly 90 staff.

A spokeswoman for Ernst & Young, who Curzon called in as administrative receiver last week, said it was in discussions with a number of companies over novating contracts.

Among the jobs up for grabs are Curzon's share of a major £250 million fit-out deal to help upgrade British Telecom's telecommunications network, as well as the rollout of the Department for Work and Pension's Jobcentre Plus.

There have been 86 redundancies among the 114 employees, with the remainder working on cur rent projects.

Ernst & Young blamed cashf low problems for the demise, but the firm also ran into trouble on the £25 million refurbishment of the InterContinental hotel in Mayfair, London.

Curzon chief executive David Freeborn, who led a management buyout from support services firm Jarvis in 1999, said: 'We found a great deal of asbestos in the InterContinental, which caused us to renegotiate the scheduling of the job. It was due to finish in December, but we would have finished it by September.'

Mr Freeborn ruled out bidding to restart the business.

He said: 'I'm not considering a bid. I'll be having a long period of ref lection.' Curzon Interior's holding company, CHL2000, is also in administrative receivership.

Two other group companies ? relocations and small works business TCL Granby and furniture business Task ? are still trading.