North-east-based construction firm Owen Pugh Group has called in administrators leaving more than 300 jobs under threat. The 71-year-old company, whose services include civil engineering, drainage, demolition and haulage, has been hit by cashflow problems due to loss-making projects, according to administrators Grant Thornton.
The firm, which is headquartered in Dudley, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, employs around 300 staff.
It originally specialised in construction plant hire before later developing into earthmoving contracting and demolition.
Grant Thornton joint administrator Christopher Petts said: “The group has experienced significant cashflow pressure in 2017 as it embarked on a number of large and high-profile projects which have, ultimately, proved to be commercially unsuccessful.”
He added: “This has seen the cash position deteriorate significantly in recent months.”
Mr Petts said “a number” of prospective purchasers have already expressed an interest in buying parts of the business and some of the group’s assets.
Grant Thornton was “urgently exploring” these options, he said.
But Mr Petts added: “I am unable to provide any certainty as to how these discussions will progress, or any guarantees as to their future employment prospects with the group.”
In its last full-year results to 31 March 2016, Owen Pugh Holdings recorded a pre-tax loss of £364,932 on revenue of £36.7m.
In 2005, the group was acquired from the Pugh family in a management buyout, according to the firm’s website.
BY JAMES WILMORE