Managers attempt last-ditch bid to take over Carillion's contracts in Northern Ireland
A group of managers and bosses at Carillion have said they want to keep the ownership of tens of millions of pounds of Housing Executive contracts in Northern Ireland as they attempt a local buy-out, it can be revealed.
It's understood a group of members, backed by an investor, made a bid to PwC for the contracts from collapsed outsourcing giant Carillion.
Last week, the Belfast Telegraph revealed French energy giant Engie is the frontrunner to take on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive contracts following the collapse of Carillion.
It's understood Engie is in the running to take on the work, which is being sold off by PwC, following the liquidation of the UK construction giant.
The Housing Executive contracts are worth around £35m a year.
Last year, the Belfast Telegraph revealed that EY was trying to sell off all of the firm's business on the island of Ireland, weeks before it went into liquidation. But it's expected that Engie will be successful in taking on the NIHE from Carillion in the coming days.
A bid for the contracts is around securing the best commercial deal, which delivers the top return for creditors.
But those behind the proposed management buy-out have said staff working for the firm were in support of their bid to take on the work, ensuring the workforce is retained. The group believes that the work should go to Northern Ireland ownership.
"The existing Belfast management team have been in place for several decades and have successfully delivered these contracts," the group said.
"Therefore they have through their own investment and with financial backing from a local businessman and previous owner put all the accreditations in place to commence work immediately."
Carillion employs approximately 500 staff here, with around 230 working for the NIHE. Across the UK, around 20,000 employees still face an uncertain future.
Carillion has three major maintenance contracts with NIHE and also has deals with the Ministry of Defence and Power NI.
Across the UK as a whole, more workers formerly employed by Carillion have lost their jobs, taking the total to almost 1,000.
A further 59 employees working on construction projects that have been paused, will leave the business later this week, the Official Receiver announced.
A total of 989 jobs have been lost since Carillion went into liquidation last month, with 6,668 saved out of the previous directly-employed workforce of 18,000.