The demolition specialist is among a number of interested parties
Keltbray is in talks to buy parts of stricken Dunne Group’s business after the concrete specialist fell into administration, Building has learned.
Multiple sources confirmed the demolition specialist has been in talks with Dunne Group’s administrator FRP Advisory since its appointment last week.
One industry source said Keltbray was one of “around half a dozen well known people” looking at Dunne Group and the process was “moving at pace”. Around 60 firms expressed an interest in buying parts of the Dunne business, but most are thought to be interested in only piecemeal parts.
Another source said any deal by Keltbray - founded by Brendan Kerr (pictured) - to buy parts of Dunne would be “a good fit”, adding: “I think clients will welcome this if Keltbray does it and it enables them to start building concrete basements – it would be a good addition to their services”.
A third source said “jobs can be saved” as part of the sales process.
Dunne Group entered administration last week with the loss of 524 jobs after substantial trading losses on some contracts, which led to severe cash flow pressures, its administrator FRP Advisory said.
Workers at the firm had been sent home from sites across the UK last Tuesday, prompting union Ucatt to raise concerns about the firm’s financial situation.
Dunne Group had been working on Mace’s £100m Highpoint, a private residential tower in Elephant & Castle, and for Brookfield Multiplex on 100 Bishopsgate and One Blackfriars.
Fellow concrete subbie Byrne Group is understood to have taken over from Dunne Group on the two Brookfield Multiplex jobs, while Mace is working through contingency plans.
Meanwhile, bank Santander, a lender to the firm, claimed Dunne Group “had been making substantial losses” despite the bank providing “increased facilities on numerous occasions”. FRP has declined to comment on Santander’s claim.
Dunne Group’s latest accounts published on Companies House show a turnover of £54.8m for the year to October 2014, up almost half on the previous year’s turnover of £37.1m. The Scottish-based company made a pre-tax profit of £756,073 for 2014, after a loss of £475,878 the previous year. The firm at the time recorded 314 employees at its year-end.
A document filed at Companies House reports Dunne Group’s finance director Andrew Love resigned as a director of the company on 24 June. He had been finance director for less than a year.
Keltbray, Byrne Group and Mace declined to comment. Brookfield Multiplex has been contacted for comment.
Dunne Group is the second concrete specialist to enter administration in little over a year after PC Harrington Contractors collapsed last May.