The history of Rok from its formation in 1939 to the suspension of its shares this morning
1939: Exeter based Rok was formed out Exeter Building Contractors (EBC), a combination of local west country firms that combined to better facilitate repairing war damaged buildings.
EBC continued to remain a single company after the war and expanded through acquisition.
1981: EBC joins the unlisted securities market of the London Stock Exchange.
1988: At the height of the Thatcher property boom EBC floats on the London Stock Exchange and continues to expand through acquisition.
2000: Garvis Snook appointed chief executive and embarks on a restructuring of EBC.
2001: EBC name disappears and Rok is established. Snook announces his intention to make Rok “the nation’s local builder” and acquires Glasgow based Retail Maintenance Services, a 24 hour, seven day a week maintenance service.
2002: Rok acquires Llewellyn Group, extending its reach into London and the south coast and expanding further into Scotland with the purchase of John Dickie.
2006: Tulloch Construction is acquired which includes plumbing and electrical contractor Corrie Group.
2007: Rok shares peak at a market cap of £436m.
2008: A series of acquisitions cements Rok’s presence in the north of England and Scotland and pushes group’s total workforce to more than 2,000 across Britain.
2010: Rok issues first profit warning in May citingunderperformance at its plumbing, heating and electrical division. Rok insists the issue has been dealt with “swiftly and decisively so that it should not recur”.
Three months later a review by BDO unveils “serious failings in the financial controls” at its plumbing, heating and electrical division. Group finance director Ashley Martin is suspended and shares plunge more than 40%.
Rok unveils a pre-tax loss of £3.8m compared with a profit of £6m in the same period in 2009.
One month after being suspended, group finance director Ashley Martin is “reinstated without reservations” but resigns insisting his position within Rok is “untenable”. Rok chairman Stephen Pettit announces problems within the plumbing, heating and electrical division are not confined to accounting failures.
Rival maintenance group Connaught goes into administration. Snook says Rok poised to pick-up some of Connaught’s contracts.
Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review slashes public spending on housing and housing maintenance.
Rok goes into administration. Shares are suspended at a market cap of £33.1m.