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Buckingham Group owed £108m at collapse

Buckingham Group imploded owing greater than £108m, in response to its directors.

The tier one contractor collapsed earlier this month after struggling “vital and rising losses incurred on key sports activities and leisure contracts as a result of inflation pressures”, in response to a press release of proposals doc written by directors from Grant Thornton.

Buckingham, which had 669 workers and places of work in Stowe, Birmingham, Doncaster, London and Manchester, additionally sustained “losses […] on a key civils/construct challenge, delays on contracts and delays on recovering vital works in progress balances”, the doc states.

Grant Thornton mentioned the problems created a cashflow disaster, as receipts had been acquired on the finish of the month whereas giant subcontractor funds had been due mid-month.

The group owes £108m, with 1,258 claims having been lodged with the administrator. Though most of those claims relate to separate companies, some suppliers have lodged a number of claims.

Grant Thornton mentioned it anticipated unusual preferential collectors to be paid in full, with fee additionally set to be made to secondary preferential collectors. Nevertheless, it mentioned “it’s unclear whether or not there can be a return to the unsecured collectors”, including that it trusted “sure claims and debtor realisations”.

Buckingham had £4.8m in a checking account with HSBC – one in all its collectors – when it went below, though this cash has but to be transferred to the administrator’s account.

The administrator mentioned: “On account of the rising losses being incurred on contracts and an absence of visibility on key cashflow issues akin to HM Income & Customs (HMRC) Time to Pay [arrangements] (TTP) and contract adjudications, the advance price on funding being offered by way of the corporate’s bill finance facility was diminished to nil in July 2023.

“This, along with HMRC rejecting a proposal for an additional TTP in August 2023 and rising creditor stress as a result of not with the ability to meet the total provider/subcontractor fee run, resulted in Grant Thornton being engaged by the corporate on 16 August 2023 to discover a sale of enterprise and property.”

Grant Thornton was unable to promote the enterprise, though it sold the company’s rail division and related assets to Kier for £9.6m. The guide worth of the property offered to Kier was roughly £11m, it mentioned.

Kier paid £5.67m to take over Buckingham’s reside rail tasks, £1.89m for its HS2 contract and round £333,000 every for retentions, money owed and work in progress.

Kier paid an additional £1 every for buyer contracts; a West Midlands buyer contract; provider contracts; enterprise mental property; goodwill; enterprise information; data expertise; inventory; and plant and gear.

Grant Thornton mentioned earlier than Buckingham collapsed it approached “varied debt suppliers, along with plenty of particular scenario funds, personal traders and UK and oversees commerce consumers”.

However it added: “Regardless of contacting in extra of 20 events, no get together was keen to supply extra debt finance to the corporate or was eager to pursue a solvent buy of the corporate’s share capital.”