Charles Gee group in administration
A 126-year-old company which transports huge parts for nuclear power stations and wings for the latest generation of Airbus aircraft has been forced into administration after running out of cash.
Haulier and shipping group Charles Gee, which also moves huge paper reels used to print Britain's newspapers, called in restructuring firm FRP Advisory after suffering "acute cashflow pressures" following years of tough trading.
Administrators warned job losses among its 250 staff are possible as they look for buyers of its various subsidiaries.
The group serves the nuclear power industry, and has offices in Clevedon and Bridgewater, close to the planned Hinkley C new nuclear power station in Somerset.
A spokesman for the administrators said Charles Gee had hoped to win work on the new nuclear plant, which today got the green light after lengthy delays over agreeing taxpayer subsidies.
"They have been waiting on Hinkley," he said. "That would have been a big source of work and has not been helpful to their current situation. We are still a way away from construction."
The company, named after its founder Charles Edward Gee, was established as a shipbroker in London in 1887, and specialises in shipping huge loads across Britain and Europe.
A project in 2011 saw it transport a 16-metre Airbus wing from Filton in Bristol to southern France, and involved chopping down trees and removing road signs.
Charles Gee also has offices at major transport hubs across the country, with sites in London, Tilbury in Essex, Felixstowe in Suffolk, Kings Lynn in Norfolk, Birkenhead in Merseyside, Didcot in Oxfordshire, Chatham in Kent, Aylesford in Kent, Harmondsworth near Heathrow Airport and Hull in Yorkshire.
Geoff Rowley, FRP Advisory joint administrator, said: "We are highly focused on working with the group's customers and suppliers and in engaging with interested parties.
"In line with economic issues facing many businesses, Charles Gee has faced challenging trading conditions for a number of years and despite the support of its loyal customer base, recent cash flow problems have prompted the need to seek the protection of administration."