Remaining jobs set to be lost as administrators struggle over sale

Bankers are on the verge of pulling the plug on collapsed social housing contractor Rok because the firm’s administrators have been unable to arrange a sale of the business, Building understands.

The decision is likely to mean the further loss of almost 3,000 jobs at the firm, which turned over £714m in 2009. Almost 1,000 staff were made redundant last week as it became clear that interest in parts of the business from buyers was waning.

The administrators initially received more than 100 expressions of interest to buy all or part of Rok, but potential bidders, such as Mears, were dismayed by the state of the business when given a chance to see the books. Contractor Morrison was the first to table a bid on Friday, but interest declined over the weekend as customers continued to desert the business.

It is understood that Rok’s potential turnover has now fallen to the equivalent of just £80m a year following both a dramatic drop off in business in recent months, and half of those remaining customers walking away since it collapsed into administration. 

An industry source said that the remaining bidders were “unable to find a solution” to achieve a sale, and that in the situation the banks are now “very likely to pull the plug” as they are unwilling to continue to fund the business’s running costs. An announcement is expected by the administrators imminently, but PwC was unable to comment.

This follows the decision yesterday to make 87 staff redundant and put two of Rok’s Scottish businesses, Inverness-based Tulloch Transport and Rok Civil Engineering into administration.

Last week PwC laid off 979, principally in the firm’s Plumbing, Heating and Engineering business and maintenance and improvements business.

More soon…


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