Hewden ‘nears collapse’ after failure to find investors

Hewden micro-excavatorOver 1,000 jobs across 32 depots are at risk at crane hire specialist Hewden after negotiations with potential new investors are understood to have stalled.

Sky News has reported that the firm called in EY to act as the company’s administrators.

Hewden is seeking to refinance £190 million of borrowings, which are due to expire in the coming months, and has been working with restructuring experts at Deloitte, who were hoping to refinance the business or sell it.

In a statement last month, the company said it was confident that it could find new financial backer, however, according to Sky News, talks had so far proved fruitless.

Hewden’s most recent accounts, covering the 12-month period to Dec 31 2014, show that the company made a pre-tax loss of £16.6m on sales of £105.9m. It notched up exceptional costs of £2.2m, attributed to “severance, depot closure costs and other restructuring”, and forked out £8.9m in interest payments during the year.

In a statement at the end of October, the firm said: “Hewden has been impacted by market uncertainty following the vote to leave the EU. The vote has adversely affected a number of large construction and capital investment projects.

“The company is in constructive dialogue with stakeholders to resolve the situation in a consensual manner and is optimistic that a positive solution will be found.

“The company is working with its advisers Deloitte to reach agreement with lenders on an extension of its debt facilities, whilst also testing market appetite for a sale of the business.”

Hewden is owned by private equity firm Sun European, which paid £110m to acquire Hewden from ­Canadian firm Finning in 2010.

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