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WYG builds deal to save 2,700 jobs

Construction and engineering consultancy WYG has said that thousands of jobs will be saved after its shareholders voted in favour of a refinancing deal.

Under the terms of the agreement, banks will take ownership of 60.5% of the company in return for reducing its debt levels to £50m from £103m and providing new lending facilities.

The firm said that over 95% shareholders at a meeting in Leeds voted through the proposals.

WYG Ireland is involved in a number of high profile contracts in Northern Ireland.

These include engineering and environmental consulting on the integrated Desertcreat Training College in Cookstown, managing the design and building programme of the new Magilligan prison site and helping devise a strategy for the regeneration of the former Maze Prison site.

Paul Hamer, chief executive of WYG Group, said: "Upon completion of the refinancing we will have significantly reduced the level of the group's debt, created a stable, long term financial future for the company, secured around 2,700 jobs and provided renewed confidence to our clients."

Of the firm's remaining shares 24.5% will transfer to staff and management and 15% to existing shareholders, it said.

Mr Hamer added: "With a new leadership team and a restructured balance sheet, we will be putting in place fundamental building blocks to enable us to benefit from profitable opportunities at home and internationally, while continuing to take a prudent and cautious view of the market."