English unit of Stewart Milne likely to follow parent

Stewart Milne Group called in administrators on Monday

The English subsidiary of Scottish housebuilder Stewart Milne is expected to follow the parent company into administration later this week.

Stewart Milne Homes North West England, which sells homes under the Stewart Milne brand, was among six subsidiaries placed into administration with the parent company on Monday with the loss of 217 jobs.

However, the business responsible for building homes in the region, Stewart Milne Homes North West England (Developments), has a separate funding structure and was not placed into administration.

Daily Business reported early on Monday that the North West division was seeking an administrator and the group confirmed later that day it had appointed Teneo.

Teneo, which was appointed administrator, said a strategy was being discussed with Homes England, the government agency, and that there should be “more clarity” on the north west division by the end of the week.

A Homes England spokesperson said: “We are aware that the majority of the Stewart Milne Group of companies has been placed in administration with an English subsidiary that Homes England has a relationship with likely to follow later this week.”

A spokesperson for Lloyds Banking Group, which handled Milne’s finances, said: “When a company experiences financial difficulties, we will always try to find a solution that places the business onto a sounder financial footing without the need for any insolvency process.

“Unfortunately, despite several years of support and forbearance, including multiple maturity extensions to the borrowing, this has not been possible in this instance. We will now work with the administrators, as they consider the best options for the business.”

The trade union Unite has voiced its anger at the lack of notice given to about 60 of its members working across Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “The announcement that the Stewart Milne group has been placed in administration is grim news. However, what is totally unacceptable is the workforce were given no prior warning nor has there been any consultation with Unite.

“Unite is now actively exploring all legal avenues in support of our members and it is fully determined to get them justice.”

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