Monday 23 July 2018

'Green Murphys' to buy bust firm Carillion's UK power business

British construction and services company Carillion, which employed over 43,000 people globally, collapsed last month when its banks halted funding, triggering Britain’s biggest
corporate failure in a decade. Photo: PA Wire
British construction and services company Carillion, which employed over 43,000 people globally, collapsed last month when its banks halted funding, triggering Britain’s biggest corporate failure in a decade. Photo: PA Wire
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Irish-owned civil engineering giant J Murphy & Sons has bought Carillion's UK power framework, the privately held engineering and construction company said yesterday.

British construction and services company Carillion, which employed over 43,000 people globally, collapsed last month when its banks halted funding, triggering Britain's biggest corporate failure in a decade.

J Murphy has been known to generations of Irish workers in Britain and to Londoners as the 'Green Murphys' thanks to the livery of their ubiquitous vans and trucks in the city.

Its one of the biggest infrastructure contractors in the UK, and also operates in Ireland and Canada.

It is controlled by founder John Murphy's Co Kildare-based son Bernard Murphy and his wider family, whose wealth is estimated at around €443m.

The group has three main companies, the principal one of which is working on some of the UK's biggest construction projects and generates close to €1bn in a year in revenues.

The group will take over Carillion's position on National Grid's overhead electricity lines, substation and underground cable framework contracts and Carillion employees will join Murphy, the company said.

Carillion's Official Receiver, who is managing the massive insolvency for the British government, has since been looking through the about 450 contracts that Carillion was managing when it collapsed, seeking alternative contractors to complete the tasks.

Murphy will also become the new joint venture partner of Eltel, the Swedish supplier of services for infrastructure networks, on overhead line and T-Pylon framework contracts, Murphy added.

The UK's Official Receiver has made 829 Carillion staff redundant so far but saved around 1,019 out of a UK workforce of 18,000.

Carillion, which also operated in Canada, sold some of its Canadian assets to former Bank of Ireland shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings for an undisclosed amount on Monday.

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