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Sun June 20 2021

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Debt burden brings Hewden to the brink

21 Nov 16 Loss-making plant and tool hire giant Hewden looks to be on the verge of collapsing into administration as it struggles to find new financial backers.

According to Sky News, Hewden’s owner Sun Capital Partners has already called on EY to become administrators.

Sun bought Hewden from Caterpillar dealer Finning in 2010 for £110m. Since then, employee numbers have been slashed from 1,300 to around 750 today.

Hewden made a pre-tax loss of £16.6m last year on turnover of £106m. The previous year it lost £13m.

Hewden urgently needs to re-finance around £190 million of debt with repayments about to become due but negotiations with potential backers have come to nothing.

In a statement at the end of October Hewden said: “Hewden has been impacted by market uncertainty following the vote to leave the EU. The vote has adversely affected a number of large construction and capital investment projects. The company is in constructive dialogue with stakeholders to resolve the situation in a consensual manner and is optimistic that a positive solution will be found. The company is working with its advisers Deloitte to reach agreement with lenders on an extension of its debt facilities, whilst also testing market appetite for a sale of the business.”

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