Holloway White Allom were presented with a winding-up petition
Private equity firm Privet Capital has taken a majority stake in specialist contractor Holloway White Allom after a winding-up petition was filed on the company that built the Bank of England.
Holloway was turning over £60m a year before the recession and has a 130-year history, including building the Old Bailey and the fountains at Piccadilly Circus.
It encountered financial difficulties last year following a sharp downturn in business. As a result, it was unable to meet interest payments on a loan it secured from Lloyds TSB to refinance the company. In December about 60 of its 197-strong workforce were made redundant and a winding up petition against the firm was lodged. The winding up application was withdrawn following Privet Capital’s cash injection into the company.
Stephen Keating, founder of Privet, said his business’s investment helped prevent Holloway from going into administration and that it was in the process of stabilisation as a result of recent reforms.
“It’s going to be a successful business again,” said Keating. “We’re reforming it in cash terms to make it much stronger.”
In 2008 Holloway increased staff numbers from 149 to 197. The following year the business was listed on The Times 100 Best Companies ranking.
“The business grew too fast,” added Keating. “To stabilise the business we had to downsize its operations. This involved some changes at management level and also cuts to the staff size.”
While Keating refused to reveal how much money was injected to the business, Privet’s website states that it invests no more than £10m into companies.
Privet Capital has an exit strategy on all the companies it invests in and Keating confirmed that its involvement with Holloway would end within the next three to four years.