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MJN Colston to file for administration

Mechanical and Electrical giant MJN Colston is in administration, Construction News understands.

Deloitte partners Dan Butters and Matt Cowlishaw have been appointed adminstrators to the company which turned over £96.1m in the year to May 2011.

The contractor traces its origins back to 1890 and made a pre-tax profit of £2.1m last year.

According to accounts filed at Companies House it employed 414 staff as of May 2011, having occurred £247,000 of redundancy and restructuring costs in the year.

Redundancy and restructuring costs in 2010 were £1.3m and staff numbers were 15 per cent down in year to May 2011.

The fate of the company’s staff is unclear at present with many only finding out last night, a source told CN.

Directors did not take a salary last year and no dividend was paid.

The company, which is owned by Staveley Engineering Services, operates nationally in six regions from nine offices in Gateshead, Blackburn, Coventry, Bury St Edmunds, Croydon, Bristol, Bridgend and Exeter.

In the year to May 2010 MJN acquired EI WHS - another SES company - for a consideration of £1.1m.

They created a loan account with the vendor to do this. Some directors got payments from SES but those are disclosed in that companies’ accounts.

MJN Colston operates in the public and private sectors offering project management, design, prefabrication, supply, installation, testing, commissioning and mechanical, electrical, control and instrumentation systems.

High profile clients include Fujitsu, the Eden Project, Sony and Arsenal’s Emirates stadium.

Matt Ricketts, operations director of cosntruction specialist credit reference agency Top Service said the news had surprised some as no county court judgements or petitions had been registered against MJN Colston.

He added: “We have had several companies reporting issues with slow payments from MJN Colston over the past six months, with the frequency of these issues increasing since the start of this year.”

MJN Colston was the first of the eight breakaway major M&E contractors to withdraw from plans to introduce the controversial BESNA agreement.

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services and NG Bailey have since followed suit.

More to follow.

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