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Owen Pugh go into administration

Owen Pugh

Company calls in the administrators following significant cash flow pressures in 2017

OWEN Pugh, the Northumberland-based civil engineering contractors whose activities include aggregates, earthmoving, demolition and recycling, plant hire and haulage, have gone into administration as a result of significant cash flow pressures.

The company, which operates Marsden Quarry, near Sunderland, has been in business since 1946 and is one of the largest civil engineering firms in the North East. It is understood that more than 300 jobs are at risk.

Yesterday, administrators Grant Thornton said the firm had suffered cash flow problems after taking on a number of loss-making projects, but it was hoped that a buyer could be found for all or part of the group.

Joint administrator Christopher Petts commented: ‘The group experienced significant cash flow pressure in 2017 as it embarked on a number of large and high-profile projects which have, ultimately, proved to be commercially unsuccessful. This has seen the cash position deteriorate significantly in recent months.

‘Despite having sourced additional external investment in 2017, cash pressure intensified culminating in parts of the group being presented with winding-up petitions in recent weeks, which they have been unable to satisfy.’

Mr Petts, who is working with employees and customers to establish if there are any elements of the business that can be rescued and a buyer located, said a number of prospective purchasers had already expressed and interest in acquiring parts of the business and assets of the group.

However, he said he was unable to provide any certainty as to how these discussions would progress, or give any guarantees with regard to future employment prospects within the group.

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