Construction giant Rok has shocked the industry by announcing this morning that it is going into administration.
A statement to the London Stock Exchange said: “The board of Rok announces that it has resolved to put the company into administration and to make an application to the Financial Services Authority to suspend the listing and trading of the Company's Ordinary Shares on the Stock Exchange.
“It is anticipated that the administration and suspension will become effective shortly. Further announcements will be made in due course.”
Rok has had a difficult year. In May, the contractor issued a profit warning after saying that the harsh winter had affected its insurance claims business.
Its finance director was suspended, though later cleared of any wrong doing.
Rok specialises in social housing construction and maintenance, a market which has been badly hit by falling house prices and cuts in public sector spending.
The slowdown in that market has already claimed one major victim this year, after Connaught entered administration in September.
Rok, the self-styled 'nation's local builder', had been regarded as one of construction's more innovative companies.
Originally a small West Country contractor called EBC, the firm's fortunes were transformed following the appointment of dynamic chief executive Garvis Snook (pictured) in 2000.
A year later, the company rebranded as Rok, and a succession of acquisitions and organic growth transformed the business into a £1bn company by 2008.
Last year, its revenue dropped 29% to £715m but it still made a healthy profit of £17m.
Rok employs over 4,600 staff.