Carillion Puts Administrators On Standby Should Talks Fail

Reuters

Reuters

The fate of the builder is sensitive for the government because Carillion has contracts with several departments, with projects ranging from hospitals and libraries to roads and the HS2 high-speed rail link.

A Government spokesperson repeated a statement given to Sky News last weekend which said it was "committed to maintaining a healthy supplier market and work closely with our key suppliers".

She added: "The huge pension deficit is a further worry for the Carillion workforce, as well as their jobs being potentially on the line, they have also discovered that their pensions, which they have saved for, could be at risk".

The Pensions Regulator said it was not commenting on whether or not they were attending specific meetings, but a spokesman said: "We have been and remain closely involved in discussions with Carillion and the trustees of the pension schemes as this situation has unfolded".

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The firm has seen its share price plunge almost 80 per cent in the past six months after making a string of profit warnings and breaching its financial covenants.

"The company has kept us informed of the steps it is taking to restructure the business".

DEVELOPERS are being sounded out to rescue major infrastructure projects across Scotland if leading construction firm Carillion collapses.

In a note to clients, Peel Hunt's analysts said: "We suspect that given its mounting liabilities, recent press comment, growing customer worries and supply chain hesitancy that Carillion will be forced (by the banks) to accelerate its financial restructuring".

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The general secretary of the RMT rail union, Mick Cash, said Carillion's workers were "not responsible for the crisis".

The UK Government said a ministerial meeting to discuss the crisis took place on Thursday, with a spokeswoman adding: "We are carefully monitoring the situation while working to ensure our contingency plans are robust". This should include the possibility of bringing contracts back in-house.

As well as employing 19,500 people in the United Kingdom, it is one of the main contractors for HS2, the government's flagship infrastructure project, and provides services for schools, the armed forces, and road projects for the Highways Agency.

Unite received assurances from Carillion after the company's share price plunge last November and was assured there was nothing to be concerned about. It has also raised fears that taxpayers could be left with the cost of running some of the company's government contracts.

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"The thousands of workers with Carillion and those in the supply chain servicing its contracts across the public sector will be desperately anxious about the future and they too need to be reassured by the Scottish Government as a matter of urgency".

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