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Wed May 22 2024

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260 go as John Doyle collapses

22 Jun 12 Some 260 of Doyle’s 290 employees have been let go in the immediate aftermath of the company going in administration.

Doyle chairman Stef Stefanou
Doyle chairman Stef Stefanou

Deloitte has confirmed that three of its partners have now been officially appointed as joint administrators to Doyle Plc, and its trading subsidiarie Blythewood, John Doyle Construction and Ibex Interiors.

Ibex Interiors and John Doyle Construction have been closed. Joint administrators Richard Hawes, Dominic Wong and Chris Farrington said that, given the absence of any funding, they had no alternative.

Only Blythewood, the plant hire arm, is continuing to trade, but only until it can be sold as a going concern. However it has immediately been diminished as a business since approximately 45% of Blythewood’s annual turnover is from sales to John Doyle Construction.

Mr Hawes said: “The group has suffered a prolonged period of difficult trading which has resulted in it being unable to meet its financial obligations.  We are in discussions with several interested parties to sell various parts of the business. We will continue to trade the Blythewood business on a limited basis with a view to securing a sale as a going concern.”

As previously reported, the Deloittes team was called in on Wednesday this week.

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John Doyle was subject to a management buyout in 2006 led by Stef Stefanou, 71 this year, and backed by the Bank of Scotland. The company has worked on such prestige projects as the Millennium Dome, Kings Cross redevelopment and the Olympic Park

The group operates through: John Doyle Construction, specialising in substructure, superstructure and infrastructure works; Ibex Interiors, specialising in fit out; and Blythewood for plant hire. Blythewood won Hire Association Europe’s ‘Hire Company of the Year’ award for 2012 in April.

The latest accounts, filed in September 2011, report that 2010 was ‘a very tough year’ for the group and Bell Projects, which focused on new-build & refurbishment residential, education and hotels, was closed. But that the first half of 2011 showed some improvement in construction fit out and plant hire.

Turnover in 2010 fell 36% to £79m and there was a pre-tax loss of £5.2m, on the back of a £3.5m loss in 2009.

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