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170 jobs safe after failed Belfast building firm bought by MD

By Margaret Canning

Published 11/05/2016

Deal: Ruairi McNaughton
Deal: Ruairi McNaughton

More than 170 jobs have been saved after a building and maintenance firm in Belfast was bought over after going bust. Contract Services (Northern Ireland) had been in business for almost 10 years.

Its managing director, Ruairi McNaughton, is behind the new company that bought over the firm and a number of its assets.

Accountants PKF-FPM were appointed administrators of Contract Services last week, with the purchase by Mr McNaughton's new company taking place shortly afterwards.

Around 94 of the company's workers are full-time, with the remainder part-time.

Administrator Seamas Keating said the business had a strong customer base and that the sale of it to the new company was the best outcome.

"The board came to a decision that an insolvency process was required to protect creditors, provide a maintained service to customers and to safeguard as many jobs as possible," he added.

"In fact, following the implementation of the process, all 177 jobs of the company have been preserved.

"Preserving value and maintaining the business was a key objective, given that it is critical for the customers to have assured continuity of service.

"The transaction has avoided the uncertainty, cost and business damage of an open-ended administration process, and was the only viable alternative for the business in the circumstances."

Mr Keating also explained the purchase of Contract Services by the new company - which is called Tully Farm Holdings - had been approved by a team of businesspeople known as the Pre-Pack Pool.

That group is consulted when administrators wish to sell the assets of a failed business to a company associated with a person linked to the failed business.

That process is known as a "pre-pack" administration.

The buyout news came as insolvency trade body R3 said that struggling companies should be given up to six weeks breathing space from creditor pressure in order to formulate a recovery or rescue plan.

Belfast Telegraph

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