Monday, 22 October, 2018


Government officials hold urgent talks on Carillion

Reuters Reuters
Melba Vasquez | 13 January, 2018, 04:37

The government, the Pensions Regulator and representatives from the firm held crunch talks to discuss the firm's options on Friday.

Notably, it holds a contract to build part of the forthcoming HS2 high speed railway line and is the second largest supplier of maintenance services to Network Rail.

A government spokeswoman said it has been monitoring the situation to ensure its "contingency plans are robust".

He added that workers "should have protection and guarantees from the government, including an assurance that operations will be directly transferred over to Network Rail with all jobs, pensions and rights safeguarded if Carillion goes bust".

Further press reports earlier today said the government is being urged to bring Carillion into public control amid fears the construction company could collapse.

Having had its rating for Carillion "under review" previously, the City broker has resumed coverage with a "sell" saying it now sees no equity value in the stock.

Last summer, Carillion took on two five-year MoD contracts worth £158m to provide facilities management services at more than 230 military sites across Scotland, the north of England and northern Ireland.

The developer tabled a business restructure plan on Wednesday but it is understood it failed to convince its lenders it was a strong enough proposition.

The Financial Times broke the story that Carillion met Thursday with Business Secretary Greg Clark, new Justice Minister Rory Stewart, new Transport Minister Jo Johnson and Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, in a meeting convened by Cabinet Office minister David Lidington, BBC News reports.

Meanwhile the union Unite is calling on the Government to consider all possible options including bringing contracts in-house, as doubts continue to grow over the future of troubled construction and outsourcing giant Carillion.

The person familiar with the situation, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the situation, said the government needed to get involved to help prop up the supplier.

Its share price plunge more than 70% in the past six months after a shock profit warning wiped nearly £600m from the company's stock market value in July previous year.

"We are committed to maintaining a healthy supplier market and work closely with our key suppliers".

Shares in Carillion closed down 29 percent at 14 pence, after touching a new low of 12.5 pence and compared with a price of 240 pence a year ago. "It would be inappropriate for us to comment on any individual contractor's internal financial governance".

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