Pel Group goes into administration as Multiplex claims extension of time until October

Further problems arose at Wembley stadium this week as the project’s seating contractor went into administration and Multiplex gave client Wembley National Stadium Limited “formal notice” that it was entitled to extensions of time until October 2007.

Fit-out specialist Pel Group, which owns Wembley seating firm Pel Stadium Seating, went into administration last Thursday after cash flow problems.

Most of the group has since been bought by Norwest Holst, a subsidiary of French contractor Vinci, but the seating division has remained in administration. Multiplex has been forced to buy the seating stock needed to finish the stadium.

It is the second Wembley seating firm to collapse. The Cheltenham firm Stadium Seating went into administration in January.

News of Pel’s demise came as Multiplex told the Australian stock exchange it had given WNSL “formal notice” that it was entitled to a further extension of time. Multiplex said it expected practical completion of its contract by the end of September, but that the stadium would not be finished until later. The contractor said delays on finishing works for which WNSL was responsible meant it was impossible to give an opening date.

Multiplex refused to say whether the “formal notice” meant it had begun legal proceedings against the client, but a legal source said that the notice was likely to be in the form of either a letter, a writ or the start of adjudication.

Michael Cunnah, WNSL’s chief executive, said: “The delays experienced on the stadium have been, and continue to be, the complete responsibility of Multiplex.

“WNSL firmly rejects Multiplex’s statement and refutes any claims that they make against us.”