As housebuilder Stewart Milne declares bankruptcy, over 200 positions are lost

As an immediate consequence of entering administration, the housebuilder Stewart Milne Group has lost over 200 employees.

The north-eastern Scotland-based construction company stated that it has encountered "significant challenges" since the release of Covid.

It follows the failure of a sale attempt by the company's chairman, Stewart Milne, the previous year.

Administrator Teneo stated that 217 positions would be impacted, in addition to hundreds of subcontractor positions.

Although six of the company's subsidiaries have been forced into administration, its branch in north-west England has remained unaffected.

Trade positions affiliated with the construction company's sites will also be eliminated due to the firm's demise. The administrators instructed subcontractors to cease all further work for the company and prohibited unauthorised access to the site, including equipment collection, unless specifically authorised by the administrators.

Teneo stated that the organisation was "considering its options" but was open to collaborating with other developers to complete unfinished websites.

Buyers who have reserved or purchased properties from Stewart Milne Group but have not yet occupied them will receive direct communication from the administrators.

In light of the prolonged sales process and the lack of viable offers, Adele MacLeod of Teneo stated, "Unfortunately, the directors have been compelled to place Stewart Milne Group Limited and a number of its subsidiaries into administration, resulting in some immediate layoffs."

"We encourage anyone interested in the group's Scottish development sites to contact us as we continue to evaluate all available alternatives."

Following the announcement of its founder Stewart Milne's retirement in 2022, the house constructor, known for its projects in north west England and north east and central Scotland, was initially listed for sale. However, the transaction was halted in 2022 on account of "economic uncertainty" and prevailing market conditions. Despite being relisted for sale in July 2023, the property was unable to secure a serious purchaser.

Profits increased for the fiscal year 21/22 after the company divested its forestry systems division in December 2021.

A pre-tax profit of £16.5 million was documented for the fiscal year ending in October 2022. Although revenue decreased by £48.7 million annually to £172.4 million, house sales decreased by nearly 30 percent to 583.

Lloyds Banking Group, according to a spokesperson, had made efforts to identify a resolution that would stabilise the company's finances and prevent its insolvency.

She further expressed regret that this was not feasible in this particular case, notwithstanding years of patience and support, which included numerous extensions of the borrowing's maturity.

Former Aberdeen Football Club chairman Stewart Milne established the company in 1975, subsequent to his electrical certification.

Amidst discussions with "seriously interested parties," he delayed his retirement in an effort to ensure the firm's continued existence.

Mr. Milne, aged 73, expressed his profound distress over the unforeseen result of the sales procedure, finding it difficult to accept the far-reaching consequences that it will impose on staff, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.

Stephen Flynn, the SNP member of parliament for Aberdeen South, stated that the news would be a severe setback for all company employees and stakeholders.

Teneo disclosed that in order to aid in the administration process, 54 personnel had been retained. An additional 58 personnel have been retained from the north-west England operation.