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Mon June 14 2021

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Hewlett's new owners renegotiate terms

2 Sep 13 The new owners of Hewlett Construction have had to renegotiate the terms under which they pay the administrators, BDO, from whom they bought the business earlier this year.

Hewlett MD Alan Cooper
Hewlett MD Alan Cooper

Hewlett went into administration in January and within days was bought back by the senior management team of John Duffy and managing director Alan Cooper. However, it appears that they have struggled to make the payments.

“In the early days after the buy-out we experienced some difficulty in recovering debts at the speed that was originally anticipated," Mr Cooper admitted.

“We approached BDO with the aim of reaching a mutually beneficial solution for both parties in order to sustain the new business. We were pleased that the result was an extension to the original payment deadline.”

He said that the recently-issued administrators report “accurately sets out the position in relation to the sale and purchase agreement as it was several weeks ago”.

However, Hewlett has continued to make progress with settlement of old companies accounts in order to generate income for BDO on behalf of the creditors of Hewlett Civil Engineering (HCE) and Hewlett Plant Hire (HPH), he said.

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“The extended timescale following the successful management buyout has given us time to restructure the business in a way that will allow it to prosper,” Mr Cooper continued.

“We have done what we can to cut operating costs, which is why a round of redundancies occurred shortly after the buyout. Just six months later and the business is ahead of expectations.

“We have won a number of new contracts including Priors Hall in Corby for Bela Partnership, Elsecar Park & Ride for South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive as well as several housing infrastructure projects. In addition we have announced plans to open a regional office in Corby and recently invested over half-a-million pounds in new plant/machinery.

“We’ve also completed several successful schemes that were novated from the old companies; Carr Lodge for the Homes & Communities Agency, Westonbirt Arboretum for the Forestry Commission and Stublach Gas Storage for GDF Suez.”

The latest forecast predicts a turnover for the year ending 31 March 2014 of £34m and an order book of £13m for the year ending 31 March 2015.

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