Page last updated at 10:44 GMT, Thursday, 25 March 2010

Jarvis to call in administrators

rail workers
Jarvis has seen its rail contracting business volumes fall

Rail maintenance company Jarvis has announced that it will go into administration after lenders refused to offer the company further credit.

The company has seen big reductions in its business since the beginning of the recession in 2008.

Jarvis said its creditors were now not prepared to offer it the money it needed to continue as a going concern.

The company said it had no option but to enter administration, and had asked for its shares to be suspended.

"[The company] has been impacted by economic conditions generally and, in particular, the very considerable reductions in rail and plant work volumes," Jarvis said in a statement.

"Trading conditions have been, and continue to be, difficult," York-based Jarvis said in a statement.

"Following negotiations with the company's secured lenders, it has today become clear that sufficient support will not be extended to the company to enable it to continue trading as a going concern.

"As a consequence, the directors now have no option but to take steps... to place the company, and certain of its subsidiaries, into administration."

Spending cuts

The decision means that the jobs of more than 2,000 Jarvis employees are at risk.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT union, which represents rail workers, described the news as "another hammer blow for the rail industry" and blamed "Network Rail's cuts programme and the scrapping of essential renewals work" for Jarvis's collapse.

It's never easy to see one of our suppliers cease trading, especially when there is plenty of work available
Simon Kirby, Network Rail

Jarvis's businesses involve rail maintenance contracts and rail freight services.

Last year, the company's executive chairman, the former Conservative minister Steven Norris, complained that a reduction in spending by its main client Network Rail was hitting the company hard.

"It has been a painful process to absorb the impact of Network Rail's sudden reduction in workload," Mr Norris said.

Network Rail denied it was responsible.

"It's never easy to see one of our suppliers cease trading, especially when there is plenty of work available and investment in the railway is at historically high levels," said Simon Kirby, director of investment projects at Network Rail.

He added that he would be working closely with the administrators to ensure that work due to be undertaken by Jarvis would still go ahead.

Jarvis came close to collapse in 2004 after racking up huge debts on over-ambitious bids for Private Finance Initiative contracts.

In February, Jarvis said it expected to make losses of about £8m for this financial year, including £3m in restructuring costs.



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