LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Britain’s Carillion collapsed on Monday after its banks lost faith in the construction and services company, forcing the government to step in to guarantee major public works contracts.
Carillion, a major infrastructure contractor, operated in joint ventures with a number of other firms. Here is a summary of what its compulsory liquidation means for the government and for some of those firms.
Carillion employed about 43,000 people around the world, including nearly 20,000 in Britain, roughly 18,000 in the Middle East and North Africa and about 6,000 people in Canada.
The British government has agreed to carry on paying public sector employees until the status of the contracts is established, and new contracts have been found to provide the services or they are taken “in-house” by the state, Cabinet Office minister David Lidington said.
However, he said private sector workers would not be given the same protections. The government will pay these workers for 48 hours, after which the private firms will have to pay the ongoing costs or accept termination of those contracts.
The government said it had awarded eight contracts to Carillion since the company issued a profit warning last July, six of them joint ventures.
Builder Galliford Try said it estimated it would need an extra 60-80 million pounds ($110.25 million) to complete work on its joint venture with Carillion on a road contract around Aberdeen in western Scotland.
“The terms of the contract are such that the remaining joint venture members, Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try, are obliged to complete the contract,” Galliford Try said in a statement. The contract is worth 550 million pounds in total.
Shares in Galliford Try closed down 7.3 percent on Monday. The company said it had “no other significant contracts or projects with Carillion”.
In addition to the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, Balfour Beatty was working with Carillion on two other projects - the A14 in Cambridgeshire and a motorway contract near Manchester in north-west England.
“The cash impact to Balfour Beatty is likely to be an outflow in the range of 35 million pounds to 45 million pounds in 2018,” the company said in a statement.
“Balfour Beatty will continue to work with its customers and will meet its contractual commitments.”
Shares dropped 3.3 percent on Monday.
Kier was working with Carillion on the high-profile HS2 rail contract in a joint venture with France’s Eiffage, awarded last July.
Kier said there were contingency plans in place and they were not expecting an adverse financial impact from the collapse of Carillion. Eiffage could not immediately be reached for comment.
Kier also operated the Highways England smart motorways programme with Carillion.
Its share price opened lower on Monday but closed up 3.5 percent, joining a rally in some competitors of Carillion as investors bet there would be more contracts for others following the company’s demise.
Shares in industrial equipment rental company Speedy Hire fell sharply on Monday, and closed down 5.6 percent.
While Carillion had been one of Speedy Hire’s largest clients, the share price reaction was nevertheless likely to be overdone, broker Liberum said.
The stock rallied 3.2 percent on Tuesday, after Speedy Hire said the impact of Carillion’s situation was not expected to be material to the group.
Geotechnical engineering group Van Elle has rail improvement contracts with Carillion. It said it had undertaken work for Carillion in December and had requested payment but had yet to receive money for the work.
“Van Elle’s outstanding debt and work-in-progress exposure with Carillion is approximately 1.6 million pounds,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Shareholders should note that, in the event that Van Elle is unable to recover any monies owed, there would be an adverse financial impact on the Group.”
Building services firm TClarke, service and technology group KBR and infrastructure fund John Laing all said there would no - or minimal - disruption from the collapse of Carillion, and that there should be no material financial impact on the companies.
Carillion’s small contractors could be hardest hit.
Rudi Klein, head of Britain’s Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group, warned that Carillion had left a trail of 1.2 billion pounds in unpaid bills to thousands of small subcontractors.
Klein said the scale of the industry’s exposure was not yet clear but he gave the examples of a small Northern Irish engineering contractor owed 150,000 pounds and a concrete frame manufacturer in northwest England owed 2 million pounds.
“This can’t be allowed to happen again,” he said.
$1 = 0.7256 pounds Reporting by Alistair Smout; Additional reporting by Kate Holton and Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Gareth Jones