Geoffrey Osborne Ltd appoints administrators

Geoffrey Osborne Ltd has called in administrators from RSM Restructuring Advisory.

Around 100 staff have been made redundant with immediate effect, the firm said in a statement.

“A small number of staff will be retained to assist the administrators and continue discussion with possible investor partners with a view to ensuring parts of the business continue to trade,” the statement added.

All staff have been paid to the end of April, “and consultations with people being made redundant have been carried out in recent days”.

The firm acknowledged “significant headwinds common to the entire construction industry over the past two years, fuelled by high inflation, the lingering impacts of Covid-19 and Brexit, and a slowdown in public sector procurement”.

Chairman Andrew Osborne described entering administration as a “sad day”, adding: “Appointing administrators is a last resort after a determined effort to trade through the economic headwinds and deliver for customers. The management team will now work with the administrators on the next steps for the business.”

Osborne spearheaded an effort to restructure his firm to focus on construction projects. This resulted in the sale of its property management division, infrastructure business and offsite manufacturing arm from 2021.

The proceeds of all three sales were reinvested into the business, the company said.

Geoffrey Osborne’s most recent accounts were filed in July 2022 for the year ending 30 September 2021. In April last year it extended its accounting period from 30 September 2022 to 31 March 2023.

Companies House lists the firm’s accounts as overdue.

Today’s announcement followed Geoffrey Osborne’s notice of intention to go into administration, filed last week. The day after, two of its subsidiaries applied for administration.

Geoffrey Osborne is still in talks to sell the business. “Discussions with interested parties will continue,” a company spokesperson told Construction News.

RSM’s Damian Webb, who is joint administrator with David Shambrook, said: “Regrettably, despite the substantive efforts of the Osborne team it has not been possible to rescue the business.

“This failure is attributable to the macroeconomic challenges the company has faced since Covid and the consequent loss of confidence in the sector from investors and funders.”

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