J Bryan (Victoria) Ltd., the family-owned demolition firm, has entered administration This Widnes-based firm have been operating in North West England since 1960, but ceased trading on June 30th. Five days later, Patrick Lannagan and Conrad Pearson of Mazars accountancy firm were appointed as administrators.
Why did J Bryan (Victoria) Ltd. go into administration?
The administrators claim that the company became insolvent due to several cash-flow difficulties that ensued after the failure to demolish two Seaforth tower blocks in April last year. Both Churchill and Montgomery Houses were left standing after the explosions, controlled by J Bryan (Victoria) Ltd., failed to bring either building down.
Churchill collapsed after a second attempt two hours later, but Montgomery was left in an unstable condition for a week while the demolition firm sourced a crane to knock down the structure. After three failed attempts, the building was eventually demolished in May last year.
In January of this year, it was revealed that two hidden pipes filled with concrete were the cause of the failure, and J Bryan (Victoria) Ltd. were not held liable. However, residents in nearby houses had to leave their homes during the demolition process, and suffered from dust in the air following the project's completion. They are now calling for compensation for their inconvenience and damage to their health.
Cash-flow difficulties stemmed from the costs and losses incurred by this failed demolition. The company was already in a precarious position according to the most recent accounts filed at Companies House. While the company had tangible assets of £2.8m, it owed creditors around £586,000.
These circumstances were compounded in recent months as the result of a downturn in contracted work. This is why the director, Mark Bryan, made the decision to take the company into administration.
What happens next?
All 56 employees lost their jobs when the company fell into administration.
Patrick Lannagan, one of the joint administrators, stated: “The administrators will now proceed with realising the company’s assets, including the company’s freehold premises in Halebank, Widnes, and welcome any interest that may be forthcoming in those."
“The administrators will be writing to all creditors, including the former employees, over the next few days with further details of the next steps in the process.”
At this point, it is unclear whether the plan for the business is to restructure or sell. However, it is unlikely that this fifty-year-old company will ever be the same as it once was.