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Projects in limbo as Pettifer Construction suffers cashflow collapse

Pettifer Construction’s demise has thrown a number of multi-million pound projects into doubt.

Pettifer Construction’s demise has thrown a number of multi-million pound projects into doubt.

The Shipston-on-Stour-based firm is being wound down by administrators KPMG putting all 120 staff out of a job after the firm went under last week.

According to Glenigan the £50 million turnover company was involved in 24 projects and was also bidding on a number of jobs.

But many of those projects have now stopped and administrators are trying to sell them on to other contractors as a going concern.

Pettifer was the main contractor on a number of jobs including a £2.5 million woodland centre in Beaconsfield, a £4 million office in Derby and a £5 million sheltered accommodation in Bristol.

A spokeswoman for Pettifer said: “It is in the hands of the administrators now.

“The future of the projects are all down to whether they can be sold as going concerns in order for someone else to deliver them.”

The collapse of Pettifer Construction does not affect the group’s biggest job, the £95 million, Vertical Theme Park tower in Birmingham.

Pettifer Group’s investment arm, which owns the global rights for the 200 m-high tower, has not been effected by the administration.

But group chairman Brian Pettifer has admitted the rest of the group, other than the investment arm, is in danger of going into administration as well, putting a further 150 jobs at risk.

At the end of last week, the managers were trying to package a deal to sell the group’s consulting business PCM, which would save 85 jobs.

The constructing arm’s difficulties were caused by short-term cash flow problems.

Despite long discussions over a number of weeks with the firm’s bank RBS, no deal on a financial package was reached.

Chairman Brian Pettifer said: “The new management team of Pettifer Construction led by Chris Pape made great strides in resolving past issues and had generated a robust pipeline of new contracts starting in the New Year.

“However, regrettably, funding could not be secured for our short-term cash requirement.”

KPMG Restructuring administrator Mark Orton said: “Pettifer Construction has been suffering from cashflow difficulties, mainly due to the current financial and economic climate.

“These difficulties reached a point this week where the directors had no option but to place the company into administration.

“While Pettifer Construction is a recognised brand within the industry, the nature of this business means that we will be seeking to wind it down over the course of the next few weeks.”

PETTIFER’S HISTORY

The Pettifer Group, one of the country’s best-known family-run contractors, was formed in 1955 by Tom Pettifer.

It has sites in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow. The contracting arm operates in the South-east and West Midlands across sectors including retail, residential, retirement homes, leisure and commercial.

Major clients include Morrisons, Colney, Hanover and Intercounty Properties.

Pettifer Construction is run by managing director Chris Pape who joined the company in January from Carillion with a mission to revitalise the organisation.