Company sank after nearly 60 years in business at end of April

Geoffrey Osborne collapsed owing trade creditors nearly £26m, documents filed at Companies House have revealed.

The historic name, set up by its eponymous founder in 1966, sank into administration at the end of April with the loss of 100 jobs.

In an update by administrator RSM, Geoffrey Osborne Ltd collapsed owing £25.8m to trade creditors. Five firms are owed more than £1m each.

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Around 100 staff were laid off after Osborne went into administration in April

The update says employees are owed £1.4m.while HMRC is owed a further £1.8m in VAT.

The statement of affairs also reveals three Osborne related companies, including Osborne Group Holdings, are owed around £16m between them. Osborne Group Holdings is owed the biggest amount at £8.4m.

In total, the estimated amount owed by Geoffrey Osborne Ltd, including the £16m to other Osborne firms, is just over £45m.

Osborne, which had a turnover of around £90m at the time of its implosion, had been paring back its business in the last few years as part of a restructuring.

It sold its £200m infrastructure division, which operated in the roads and rail market, to private equity in September 2021.

And last autumn, it sold Osborne Property Services Limited, which was set up in 2006 and employed around 230 people, to social housing maintenance specialist Cardo Group for an undisclosed sum. Six months earlier it offloaded its Innovaré offsite business, which employed 115 people, to Bowmer & Kirkland, also for an undisclosed sum.

As well as offloading parts of its business, the firm had also rejigged its senior leadership in the past few years with chief executive Andy Steele leaving in October 2021, which saw him replaced by former Wates COO Dave Smith as interim boss. He was then replaced by Mark Hoyland, a former boss of social housing firm Orbit, but he only lasted a few months before Smith, who had stayed on in a non-executive role, was brought back to the top job last spring.