Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Wednesday 11th October, 2017
Financial losses and persistent problems with cash flows has led the civil engineering business Owen Pugh to enter administration.
The Owen Pugh Group has been in existence since 1946 and has several operating facilities in the North East of England but its future is now uncertain.
Appointed administrators have explained that the firm found itself facing significant cash flow pressures from the early months of 2017 onwards and embarked on what ultimately proved to be an unsuccessful series of commercial endeavours over the course of this year.
“This has seen the cash position deteriorate significantly in recent months,” said Christopher Petts, one of the appointed administrators, in a statement.
“I am working with the employees and customers to establish if there are elements that can be rescued, and a buyer located, in very short order,” he said.
In excess of 300 jobs are understood to be in jeopardy as a result of the engineering firm’s entry into administration, with most of its employees based at sites on Tyneside, Teesside and in Sunderland.
Mr Petts explained in his statements that administrators have received expressions of interest in acquiring elements and assets of the Owen Pugh Group and that possible sales are being considered as a matter of urgency.
However, he added that it is currently unclear whether any sales of aspects of the business can be concluded or what the future will hold for its hundreds of employees.
Reflecting on the events that led Owen Pugh into the position of entering administration, Mr Petts said that cash flow problems in recent months led to parts of the business receiving winding up petitions that they could not satisfy.
This situation arose despite directors having succeeded early in the year in securing additional investment.
As recently as September 2017, representatives of Owen Pugh spoke positively about the prospect of the group maintaining a presence in the North East of England for the next 70 years.
Unfortunately, efforts taken in recent weeks to restructure the organisation in a way that made it more financial stable have not been enough to stave off administration.
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