Hawk Plant, one of the UK’s largest construction equipment rental companies, has gone into administration.
Professional services firm EY is now in charge of the group, which includes Hawk Plant (UK) Limited and its subsidiaries Hawk Plant Hire Limited, Hawk Hire Limited, Safety and Training Limited, Hawk Plant Limited, and Hawk Plant Sales Limited.
Since EY stepped in, 83 of the group’s 420 staff have been made redundant.
Sam Woodward, Joint Administrator from EY, said, “The group’s cashflow had been impacted by a number of historical problematic contracts and a delay in the commencement of anticipated projects.
“Coupled with this, the group’s funding structure, with significant hire purchase and finance lease commitments, put pressure on the cashflow at a time that asset utilisation was comparatively low.”
Although the administrators did not mention Carillion by name, Hawk’s most recently filed accounts did. In the strategic report for the year ended 31 December 2017, Chief Executive Mike Hawkins said, “The liquidation of Carillion plc in January 2018 has meant some timing disruption as contracts previously awarded have had to be rescheduled. Due to the high level of credit insurance in place on Carillion plc, there will be a minimal write-off of balances outstanding at the time of liquidation.”
There was also said to be an issue with a contract in Sierra Leone.
Hawk Plant Hire Ltd, the largest part of the group, made a pre-tax loss of £734,000 (€825,242) in 2017 on turnover of £75.4 million (€84.8 million).
Hawk has a fleet of 2,000 machines and it has been supplying equipment to sites across the UK for more than 40 years.
Woodward said, “We will now begin the process of seeking to find a suitable buyer for Hawk, to ensure the best possible outcome for all of the group’s stakeholders.
“In the meantime, we will seek to minimise the impact on the customer base by keeping assets on hire and maintaining service levels.”