Coventry-based contractor latest identified in OFT probe to go into administration

One of the firms identified by the Office of Fair Trading’s investigation into cover-pricing, Coventry-based builder GAJ Group, has gone into administration with the loss of 33 jobs.

The firm, which turned over £18.5m in 2009, was engaged in a number of housing and schools projects, including a £3m development of Harris School for Warwickshire council.

The company ceased trading last week, according to administrators RSM Tenon, appointed today.

Bev Marsh, director at RSM Tenon, said “It appears that the group’s situation has been caused by a combination of factors. Not only has the economic downturn spelled disaster for a number of regional and national firms in the construction sector, but with public spending cuts GAJ had suffered from the reducing numbers of tenders in the market.”

GAJ was fined £109,683 by the OFT in September 2009, one of 112 companies, incluing major names such as Kier and Balfour Beatty, to be accused by the body.

Contractor Concentra has so far been the highest profile contractor identified by the probe to go into administration.

Marsh added the sector was experiencing a ripple effect from the collapse of Connaught and Rok last year.

Tenon was also appointed administrators for property and construction firm Image Styles Group last week.