MJM Group owner Brian McConville says firm could not take on Mivan’s workforce as this was not an option offered by the administrator


The Northern Irish businessman behind the rescue of fit-out firm Mivan plans to build the business back up to 175 staff and £30m turnover within 18 months, he has told Building.

Brian McConville, who owns fellow Northern Irish fit-out firm MJM Group, bought Mivan out of administration last Friday for an undisclosed sum.

McConville said he would run MJM and Mivan as two standalone businesses, but would initially novate some work from MJM to Mivan to get it started, including some of its cruise ship and London fit-out work.

McConville said it was “business as usual” at Mivan, despite all the firm’s 289 staff being made redundant by Deloitte before the sale.

McConville said he did not take on any Mivan staff as part of the acquisition as this was “not an option” offered by administrator Deloitte.

However, he said MJM was already advertising for 50 jobs at Mivan’s County Antrim base and that he expected that some of Mivan’s former staff would “absolutely” be among those recruited.

McConville also confirmed that as well as buying the Mivan brand, MJM bought Mivan’s 120,000 sq ft joinery factory in County Antrim and all its plant and equipment.

McConville said he plans to build up the firm using a combination of his own cash and bank funding, and was targeting £30m turnover and a 175-strong workforce within 18 months.

He added that, taken together, MJM and Mivan “probably have the biggest joinery capacity in Europe”.

Mivan’s focus will remain on cruise ship fit-out and UK fit-out work, particularly in the high-end London residential market, McConville said, but Mivan’s international operations, including in the Middle East, will be disbanded.

McConville said the London market “features highly in my sales pipeline” and he is keeping the Mivan Prime brand, which focuses on luxury apartment fit-outs.

However Mivan’s £12.5m contract to fit out part of Sir Robert McAlpine’s £750m Fitzroy Place scheme in central London has been terminated.

Building revealed that MJM was one of a number of firms circling its fellow Northern Irish contractor Mivan after it fell into administration last month.

A carpenter by trade, McConville founded MJM 31 years ago and has built it up to 175-strong. Like Mivan, much of its revenue comes from cruise ship fit-outs.

Previous Mivan contracts include re-roofing the historic Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem and outfitting the interior of the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood.

The company has also twice refurbished the luxury ocean liner the QE2 (pictured) and outfitted the interiors of two Disney cruise liners.