Double deal sees almost 1,600 jobs saved at civil engineering firm

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Almost 1,600 jobs at collapsed civil engineering contractor nmcn were saved on Thursday (October 7) as buyers swooped for different arm of the business.

In the morning, it was revealed that SVELLA, the investment vehicle headed up by former Stobart boss Andrew Tinkler, had snapped up the telecoms, plant hire, transport and accommodation business divisions of nmcn out of administration, securing over 680 jobs.

In June, it was revealed that Svella would provide a bridging loan of £10m to nmcn and provide new equity of £14m. However, the deal fell through as the company struggled to report its disastrous 2020 results and finally fell into administration earlier this week.

This new deal will mean SVELLA is also a secured creditor over the operating properties of the nmcn business, secured against its outstanding bridging facility.

Andrew Tinkler, SVELLA chairman, said: “The acquisition of the telecoms, plant, transport and accommodation business divisions by SVELLA safeguards over 680 important skilled roles and secures continuity of service for key national telecoms infrastructure clients.

“Nmcn was one of the UK’s fastest-growing telecoms contractors and was actively supporting the government’s ambitions for nationwide coverage of ultrafast fibre broadband through a number of significant infrastructure contracts and frameworks. We aim to continue to deliver on these ambitions.”

Just hours later, Galliford Try announced that it had bought the water business of nmcn, including Lintott, out of administration.

Nmcn Water delivers water and wastewater projects for clients across the UK.

As part of the £1m acquisition, circa 900 employees will join Galliford Try, including the senior management team of nmcn Water, who will report to Steve Slessor, MD of Galliford Try’s environment business.

Bill Hocking, chief executive of Galliford Try, said: “I am delighted to welcome the employees, clients and suppliers of nmcn Water to Galliford Try. This acquisition will accelerate the growth of our successful Environment business, providing work with new clients and increased capabilities. This is a very exciting time as we deliver our Sustainable Growth Strategy and I look forward to a bright future for our collective team.”

Both deals mean that there are only around 100 jobs still at risk at nmcn, which announced it was appointing Grant Thornton as administrator on Monday (October 4).

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