Independent plant hire group Hawk Plant has gone into administration with the loss of 83 jobs.
Sam Woodward, Alex Williams and Hunter Kelly of EY’s restructuring team were appointed Joint Administrators of Hawk Plant (UK) and its subsidiaries Hawk Plant Hire Limited, Hawk Hire Limited, Safety and Training Limited, Hawk Plant Limited, and Hawk Plant Sales Limited towards the end of January.
The group, based in Prees, in North West Shropshire bordering Cheshire, is one of the largest independent plant hire companies in the UK, with a turnover of £93.5m in the financial year to the end of December 2017, said EY.
It has more than 40 years of experience in the plant hire industry, with its customer base primarily spanning the infrastructure, energy and homebuilding markets.
Subsidiary Enverity, a ground survey and sight inspection business based in Newark, which employs an additional 20+ staff, remains solvent and unaffected by the administration.
In its 2017 results, filed in November 2018, managing director and majority shareholder Mike Hawkins said that the liquidation of Carillion had disrupted its contract pipeline.
“The liquidation of Carillion Plc in January 2018 has meant some timing disruption as contracts previously awarded have had to be rescheduled. Due to the high level of credit insurance in place on Carillion Plc there will be a minimal write-off of balances outstanding at the time of liquidation,” wrote Hawkins.
However, the effect on its cashflow, coupled with the company’s funding structure pushed the business into administration.
Sam Woodward, joint administrator, said: “The Group’s cashflow had been impacted by a number of historical problematic contracts and a delay in the commencement of anticipated projects. Coupled with this, the Group’s funding structure, with significant hire purchase and finance lease commitments put pressure on the cashflow at a time that asset utilisation was comparatively low”.
On 8 November 2018, Companies House listings show that Hawk Hire had entered into a £73m facility with Wells Fargo Capital Finance with debenture on land owned by the company, and a £5m facilities arrangement with Aurelius Finance Company.
Previous lenders to the business include NatWest, RBS Invoice Finance, Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance, HSBC Equipment Finance, HSBC Asset Finance, and HSBC Invoice Finance.
Woodward said: “We will now begin the process of seeking to find a suitable buyer for Hawk, to ensure the best possible outcome for all of the Group’s stakeholders. In the meantime, we will seek to minimise the impact on the customer base by keeping assets on hire and maintaining service levels.”
Employees affected by redundancy are being offered appropriate advice and support in making claims from the Redundancy Payments Office for outstanding wages, as well as redundancy and notice pay.
Woodward said: “It is with regret that 83 people have been made redundant. Our specialist team will work with those affected to help them claim outstanding wages and other payments due from the Redundancy Payments Office.”
EY said any parties interested in acquiring the Group or its subsidiaries should contact the Joint Administrators.