A year after Laing O’Rourke agreed a crucial £177m refinancing deal, the man who fought against the odds to make it happen talks to Building
“You have always got to think there is a solution.” Laing O’Rourke’s Stewart McIntyre is talking about the months spent trying to negotiate a second refinancing deal in three years. The £177m revolving credit facility was finally sorted a year ago, but something that should have taken six months ended up taking nine. As the firm’s group finance director, McIntyre was charged with making sure it happened, but sector and lender sentiment conspired at times to make it seem nigh on impossible. “It was really, really difficult,” he concedes. “There were a lot challenges.”
Top of that list was Carillion’s collapse in early 2018. “Catastrophic,” McIntyre admits. “And Kier came out with their emergency fundraising and it doesn’t work because the underwriters had to support that significantly.” The rights issue announced in November 2018 was taken up by just one third of Kier’s shareholders. “We had the Interserve situation going on as well and the constant drip of tier 2, 3 and 4 companies going into administration. It was extremely difficult.”
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