International company put on the market, presenting crucial opportunity for rival firms
Major player Archial Group – formerly SMC – has gone into administration. David Chubb and Graham Frost of PricewaterhouseCoopers, who were appointed joint administrators of Archial Group and subsidiaries, yesterday released the following statement: “In response to changes in market conditions, Archial Group PLC had taken a number of steps to improve operations and to develop a sustainable and profitable business going forward.
“However, due to difficulties in meeting the group’s financial obligations, the directors have concluded that various companies in the Group, including Archial Architects Limited and Alsop Sparch Limited, should be placed into administration to protect the business and assets.”
The firm has been on an uneven footing for some time, battling with HM Revenue and Customs over an unpaid tax bill. Hit by the negative effects of the recession, Archial Group suffered from a slow stream of work, with revenues shrinking to £33.9m – a far cry from the £42.6m it achieved in 2008. Companies going into administration are Archial Group, Archial Holdings, Archial Architects, Archial Resources and Alsop Sparch. At the firm’s request, its shares were suspended last Friday at a value of 1.5p.
Reports suggest that rival firms Aukett Fitzroy Robinson, Capita Symonds, Atkins and Aedas are interested in taking up where Archial Group left off, taking advantage of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ desire to sell the company as a going concern in order ‘to achieve the maximum realisations for the creditors of the Group’.