Civil contractor Roadbridge placed in receivership

Irish civil contractor Roadbridge and its UK subsidiary have been placed in receivership with 215 UK jobs at risk.

Nigel Morrison, Stuart Preston and Philip Stephenson, all partners of Grant Thornton UK LLP, were appointed joint directors of Roadbridge UK Ltd on March 11.

The contractor operated from its UK headquarters in Welwyn Garden City and had a number of contracts across the UK.

Roadbridge had undertaken major civil engineering and earthworks for the Align joint venture – which consists of Bouygues, Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerFitzpatrick – on the HS2 project.

The contractor’s Limerick-based parent company, Roadbridge Ltd, has also gone into receivership, with Grant Thornton taking care of the affairs of both companies.

Grant Thornton said the majority of UK staff had been sent home pending further updates, “while a strategy for the administration is being reviewed”.

According to Irish Independent, Roadbridge owes 35 million euros to the Bank of Ireland. The company was founded in 1967 and, together with its subsidiaries, employs around 630 people in Ireland, the UK and Sweden.

The directors said the company had struggled with a severe cash shortage and despite attempts to sell the business no buyer for the group had been found.

Rob Parker, Director of Grant Thornton UK, said: “It is very disappointing that efforts to rescue the business and other RBL Group companies from insolvency have not been successful and our efforts now turn to the supporting company employees during this difficult time and seeking to maximize asset realizations for the benefit of company creditors.

“We are currently evaluating whether it is possible to save part or all of the activity and invite all interested parties to contact the joint administrations. However, operations have temporarily ceased while we explore available options.”

Alice F. Ponder