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Revealed: Paisley firm goes bust

Jobs lost as ‘despicable’ Galliford Try fails to pay bill

Ken Lewandowski

Lewandowski: warning (photo by Terry Murden)

A Scottish electrical engineering firm is to go into administration on Friday (8 Sept) after failing to secure payment of an overdue bill.

French Duncan will be appointed to handle the administration of Power One Group, which employs 60 workers in Paisley.

The company is owed £3.7 million by construction giant  Galliford Try Infrastructure.

Following talks last week the York-based business agreed to pay what is understood to be less than £500,000.

This went straight to invoice factoring company Bibby and was not enough to prevent the company withdrawing its facility to Power One which no longer has funds to pay its workers.

Scots late payments campaigner Ken Lewandowski (pictured) described Galliford Try’s behaviour as “despicable” and warned that other companies may face the same fate because of the continuing practice of delaying payments by big companies to smaller firms.

“This won’t be the last. There could be more businesses closing before Christmas,” he told Daily Business.

“The little guy is getting shafted and governments who can do something about this are doing nothing. It’s a disgraceful practice and it has to stop.

“I was asked by an MSP why companies keep doing this and I told him it was because they can.”

He said he will be writing to the construction industry’s trade body to make his views known about an issue which is rife in the sector.

Power One was owed money for installing energy-saving LED street light columns and bulbs in Northumberland for the county council.

The company has a turnover of about £6.5m and won the £9m contract to both replace and install 46,000 street lights.

A Galliford Try spokesman last week said: “The total value of our contract with Power One is £9m and, to date, we have paid them £6.8m of this sum in line with the terms of the contract.”

The firm said it was liaising closely with Power One and its advisors to agree terms of payment for the balance and said it had consistently assisted Power One with its cashflow throughout the project.

“Galliford Try’s policy is always to deal fairly with subcontractors, suppliers and clients,” said the spokesman.

> Cyber security firm Payfont has been put into administration with the loss of 12 staff.

Donald McNaught, restructuring partner at accountancy and business advisory firm Johnston Carmichael, has been appointed administrator to the Edinburgh firm.

It offered a range of software products to enable secure payment processing and its software has attracted significant international interest. 

Mr McNaught said: “The difficult decision to enter administration was made by the directors when it became clear that ongoing commitments could not be met from available working capital.

“Efforts had been made in the months leading up to administration to raise sufficient capital to allow trading to continue but unfortunately time ran out for that fundraising exercise to be completed successfully.

“Our objective now is to maximise value for creditors and, ultimately, shareholders.”

Payfont was founded 14 years ago and was developing technology designed to provide unprecedented levels of digital security for an individual’s digital identities and online data.

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