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Administrators tell 200 Lagan Construction staff to stay away

Ulster University Belfast campus

Administrators KPMG have sent almost 200 Lagan Construction Group employees home after the Northern Ireland group put four of its subsidiary companies, including one working on the delayed £250M Ulster University Belfast campus, into administration last month.

KPMG joint administrators John Hansen and Stuart Irwin were appointed yesterday (Monday 5 March) to oversee the administration of Lagan Construction Group Holdings, Lagan Construction Group Ltd, Lagan Building Contractors and Lagan Water.

As none of the companies are trading while the administrators assess what happens next, almost 200 affected employees have been asked to stay at home for several days.

“The Joint Administrators realise that this period of uncertainty is very difficult for all employees and stakeholders of the companies and the Joint Administrators are endeavouring to complete their assessment as quickly as possible,” said a spokesperson for KPMG.

When the four firms went into administration last month, Lagan Construction Group chairman Michael Lagan blamed “contractual disputes” on some of its major projects.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Ulster University had begun legal proceedings against a joint venture between Lagan Construction Group and Portuguese contractor Somague, which were working on its £250M Belfast campus.

Work on the delayed scheme, which was originally due to finish construction this year, has reportedly stopped. Now the university has admitted there will be more delays due to Lagan Construction Group’s administration.

A spokesperson for Ulster University said: “Lagan’s decision to call in administrators is likely to lead to unfortunate but unavoidable delays in the delivery of the project however we are actively discussing all available options to recommence works as soon as possible.”

Ulster University is in discussions with Somague about completing the scheme.

Lagan Construction Group is also the main contractor in a joint venture with Amey and Ferrovial on the £500M, M8 M73 M74 motorway improvements scheme in Scotland.

A spokesperson for Lagan Construction Group said: “We can confirm that on Monday 5th March 2018 John Hanson and Stuart Irwin of KPMG were appointed as the Administrators for Lagan Construction Group Holdings Limited, Lagan Construction Group Limited, Lagan Building Contractors Limited and Lagan Water Limited.”

The group’s 26 other firms, which include Tideway piling contractor FK Lowry Piling, are unaffected.

Ulster University and Somague have been contacted for comment.

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