Geoffrey Osborne went under owing £45.1m

Geoffrey Osborne Ltd owed trade creditors £25.9m when it collapsed, administrators from RSM Restructuring Advisory have reported.

In documents filed with Companies House last Friday (14 June), the administrators said that 504 firms were left with unpaid invoices when the contractor fell into administration on 30 April.

Five of these companies were owed more than £1m: Bowmite Electrical & Mechanical Ltd (£1.2m), Elite Landscapes Ltd (£1.5m), East West Connect Ltd (£1.4m), Macai Ltd (£1.3m) and Rosguill Developments Ltd (£1.6m).

Total debts owed by Geoffrey Osborne were £45.1m, RSM said in its report.

This included £16.2m owed to related firms Osborne Group Holdings Ltd (£8.4m), Osborne Slinfold (£3.4m) and Fishbourne No 2 (£4.4m).

As preferential creditors, Geoffrey Osborne’s employees are set to receive £134,761. More than 100 staff were laid off when the company went under.

When RSM was called in, joint administrator Damian Webb said the firm’s demise was “attributable to the macroeconomic challenges the company has faced since Covid and the consequent loss of confidence in the sector from investors and funders”.

A total of £157,000 is recoverable for preferential creditors, according to RSM’s statement of affairs.

HMRC is owed £1.8m as a secondary preferential creditor.

The Osborne pared back its activities as part of a restructuring programme over the past three years.

It sold its infrastructure business to London private equity firm Sullivan Street (now called Octavius) in 2021. This was followed by the sale of its Innovaré offsite business to Bowmer & Kirkland in March 2023.

Six months later, Osborne’s property management division was sold to Cardo Group in September 2023.

Geoffrey Osborne’s most recent accounts were filed in July 2022 for the year ending 30 September 2021. It reported £337.2m in turnover and a pre-tax profit of £675,000.

In April last year, the firm extended its accounting period from 30 September 2022 to 31 March 2023.

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