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250 jobs go as Hewden collapses and is sold

hewdenMore than 250  employees, including 50 across six Scottish sites, have lost their jobs after plant hire company Hewden fell into administration.

Owner Sun Capital Partners called in Sam Woodward and Colin Dempster of EY’s restructuring team as joint administrators of Hewden Stuart, Hewden Properties, Interlift and The Rigging House.

Three divisions were sold to Ashtead Plant Hire Company – the access and power generation assets, the on-site plant business and the business and assets of Interlift.

A total of 133 employees will transfer across with the businesses, 27 in Scotland.

Hewden’s most recent accounts, covering the 12-month period to 31 Dec 2014, show that the company made a pre-tax loss of £16.6 million on sales of £105.9m.

Mr Woodward said: “Management has been attempting to operationally reshape the business to focus on higher margin and quicker returning assets and services.

“However, this has proven challenging with the group’s capital structure and the recent trading environment.

“Management recently undertook a number of initiatives including approaching new funders and potential acquirers to recapitalise the business, but unfortunately these efforts proved unsuccessful.”

He added: “We are assessing the optimum strategy for maximising value in the remainder of the Group.  In the meantime, we will continue to work with stakeholders to maintain service levels to customers who have assets on hire.”

A total of 251 employees were made redundant across the company’s depot and on-site locations.

Mr Woodward concluded: “It is with regret that 251 people have been made redundant. Our specialist team will work with those affected to help them claim outstanding wages and other payments due from the Redundancy Payments Office.” 

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