Collapsed M&E firm owed supply chain £10m

Haydon Mechanical & Electrical owed trade suppliers and subcontractors almost £10m when it collapsed earlier this month.

The London Docklands-based firm, which had been trading for almost 140 years, entered administration as a result of legal and financial difficulties, making 36 employees redundant.

A report from insolvency practitioners Leading UK reveals that Haydon owed £9.6m to unsecured trade creditors when it went under, with two companies – Edmundson Electrical and Cardiff-based BSS Group – owed more than £600,000 each.

In total, 225 unsecured creditors were listed in the report, with claims of £11.5m.

Leading said it was unlikely that unsecured creditors will receive a distribution other than by way of the prescribed part, under which the total assets available to unsecured creditors would be less than £148,000.

The firm’s only secured creditor is its former owner the Mears Group, which had agreed to postpone loan repayments following a management buyout in 2013.

In total, Haydon owed £19.2m to Mears, former employees and HMRC when it collapsed, while its assets are estimated to be worth £790,000.

Haydon made a pre-tax loss of £6.2m in 2021 and was due to report a £462,000 loss for 2022, according to its administrators.

The administrators’ report said Haydon was hit with financial difficulties after reportedly being subject to fraud in 2017.

It launched legal proceedings as a result, but the court ruled against it, meaning it faced legal costs as well as the loss of its original funds.

Its woes were compounded during the pandemic, when a slowdown in work caused projects to overrun and become less profitable.

In response, it cut senior salaries, put in place a planned restructure and secured a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) with creditors as a temporary reprieve.

However, a fall in market confidence following the CVA and other financial issues led to the company no longer being seen as viable, the report said.

Haydon started business in 1885 as an ironmongery, later moving into heating and plumbing before specialising in (mechanical and electrical) M&E engineering, with a particular focus on luxury high-rise residential buildings.

It provided M&E infrastructure for the 75-storey Landmark Pinnacle in the Docklands and the 52-storey One St George Wharf in Vauxhall.

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