Stewart Milne Group, one of the UK’s biggest independent housebuilders, has appointed administrators with over 200 employees being made redundant.
The group, which has headquarters in Aberdeen, was founded in 1975 and has around 35 active sale sites across the country with offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow among other UK bases.
Teneo Financial Advisory Limited have been appointed as joint administrators with the Group and around 217 roles at the company have “regrettably” been made redundant upon the appointment of administrators.
One employee told STV News staff were invited to a conference call at around 3.45pm on Monday and were informed the company was going in to administration.
Stuart McGregor, chief executive officer and an administrator were on the call as staff were told they would not be paid from the week before Christmas or for work completed on Monday.
Staff are paid on a week-by-week basis.
It is understood that no further building works will take place and that customers who have reserved a property and have not yet moved in will be contacted.
Customers who currently live in a Stewart Milne property and are concerned about outstanding building works have been urged to contact SMHomeowners@teneo.com.
A sales process was run by the firm from May last year but directors made the decision to put each of the Stewart Milne companies that operate active development sites in Scotland into administration.
The group has faced “significant challenges” in recent years, with financial uncertainty related to rising interest rates, cost pressure increases and a reduction in consumer confidence being cited.
Stewart Milne, founder of the group, said it was “devastating” that the business was faced with “no option” but to appoint administrators.
He said in a statement: “I am devastated by this totally unexpected outcome of the sale process and struggling to accept it, given the profound impact it will have on employees, sub-contractors, suppliers and customers.
“Stewart Milne Group was up for sale and, following significant interest, two bids were submitted. The bank has not accepted either bid and withdrawn its funding which left the directors with no option but to appoint administrators.
“I tried everything I could to find a way to achieve a better outcome for the business and the people who depend on it. I believe one of the bids could have delivered a comparable, financial return to administration and, crucially, allowed the business to continue to operate, safe-guarding hundreds of jobs and protecting livelihoods.”
The administrators say they are in communication with all employees affected by redundancy and are “working closely” with the Redundancy Payments Service to help deliver any statutory entitlements.
Teneo said they are ‘pursuing an orderly wind down of the business’ and that 112 employees were being retained across the group.
Adele MacLeod of Teneo said: “The downturn in the UK housing market combined with an extensive sales process not resulting in any viable offers has ultimately led to the need for the directors to place Stewart Milne Group Limited and some of its subsidiaries into Administration, regretfully with some immediate redundancies.
“We continue to assess all the options in respect of the group’s Scottish development sites and encourage any party with an interest to get in touch.”
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