Belfast Telegraph

Multi-million pound housing contracts to be sold off by giant Carillion

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By John Mulgrew

Troubled infrastructure giant Carillion is trying to sell off tens of millions of pounds in Northern Ireland Housing Executive contracts along with the rest of its business across Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

In documents seen by this newspaper, the listed firm, which is now being probed by the City's watchdog, has prepared a deal for companies to take on all the current Housing Executive contracts here, along with work for Power NI, as well as some school contracts in the Republic.

The work, worth around £35m each year, could be valued at more than £400m if some deals are extended as far as 2042 .

Dubbed 'Project Lion', EY is approaching businesses here which are potentially suitable candidates for the huge deal. They have been asked to submit bids for the contracts.

Detailed offer documents show the contracts are responsible for the heating of 38,000 Housing Executive properties, and the building maintenance for 22,000.

The investment documents say the deal between Carillion and its maintenance customers, of which the Housing Executive is the largest, involve "long-standing client relationships with majority of £35m+ per annum contracts secured through 2020 and beyond".

The contracts involve around 230 engineers and "service providers" to deliver the work.

Just last month, the Housing Executive announced £336m contracts with three firms, including Carillion, for maintenance deals.

Construction and services business Carillion's shares collapsed after a profit warning in July. It has struggled since reporting half-year losses of £1.15bn.

It brought in consultancy firm EY to help carry out a review of the business, headed by interim chief executive Keith Cochrane, as it fights for its survival.

A spokesman for the Housing Executive, said: "From the time the Housing Executive became aware of the financial position of Carillion PLC, we have been in regular contact with the company ... Carillion PLC recently informed us about the potential sale of their NI business.

"In all our contracts, there are standard clauses to deal with situations of this nature.

"As of yet, no proposals have been presented to us. Once a proposal is put to us regarding the future of the Carillion NI business, we will consider this under the terms of the contract."

Aside from the Housing Executive, the package includes work with Power NI. Elsewhere, in the Republic, work also includes services to six schools.

Carillion is also reportedly racing to secure new funding to avoid collapse, and is set to meet with lenders in the coming days. It did not wish to comment.

Belfast Telegraph

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