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Subbies rage as Controlled fails

Controlled Demolition went into administration on Monday night just hours before its name and the business was sold to East Yorkshire firm Linkway Manufacturing. The move will leave a string of trade contractors out-of-pocket.
Accountant Ernst & Young handled the administration and will continue as administrator for the holding company Controlled Group Holdings.

Linkway will keep the company name and the firm will now operate as the Controlled Demolition Group.

One explosives expert said: 'If a company changes its name it has to reapply for its explosives licence. If it had to do that it could get into all sorts of bother with contracts booked in.'

Sources close to the company claim the firm owed Barclays Bank around £9.5 million with trade creditors also owed millions.

No redundancies have been made and the management team will transfer over to the new company which will trade from Controlled's Wakefield existing HQ.

Controlled posted security guards outside its head office two weeks ago to keep angry subbies out who were turning up demanding their cash. One said: 'They stopped paying all their subbies and there were rumours that they were going under. They said everything was fine. A lot of specialists will fail because of this.'

Controlled was thrown into turmoil earlier this month when its financial backer 3i said it was pulling funding because the company was underperforming.

The venture capitalists originally backed a £7.5 million management buyout in 2001 led by Controlled Demolition's chief executive Darren Palin.

Rival demolition firm Cuddy Group, which was interested in buying Controlled, set up its own company called Controlled Demolition UK last week.

Documents filed at Companies House show that a new company - Controlled Demolition UK - was incorporated on September 15 and its registered office is listed as care of the Cuddy Group based in Llandarcy, West Glamorgan.

by Sophie Kernon