Cleveland Bridge, a company that could trace its roots to 1877, was a global leader in the design, engineering, fabrication and construction of steel bridges and complex structures, including iconic projects such as the Wembley Stadium Arch, The Shard in London, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. However, the impact of COVID-19 – including delayed projects, price increases and reduced credit limits – significantly damaged the company’s financial position, leaving the business facing insolvency. FRP had previously delivered a financial briefing report to the company, but unfortunately the recommendations were not implemented by management.
FRP was subsequently contacted by the Board as a result of acute cash flow difficulties, with Martyn Pullin, David Willis and Iain Townsend being appointed as joint administrators to protect the business and assets pending a review of the financial position and strategic options. Our team negotiated with customers both in the UK and in Sri Lanka to restart production, while also marketing the company’s business and assets for sale. Terms were agreed with suppliers, allowing the administrators to recommence trading to finish off existing projects in the UK and overseas, maintaining jobs and collecting historic debts. Consultation with employees and key stakeholders continued throughout the process.
Ultimately a buyer for the business could not be secured, but our extensive marketing of the business resulting in competitive tension allowed FRP to negotiate an above-market value sale of Cleveland Bridge’s freehold property, and maximised the outcome from the sale of plant and equipment. The company’s primary funder was repaid in full under its security, with an enhanced return to the second ranking debenture holder and preferential creditors achieved through trading outcomes.
FRP negotiated an above-market value sale of Cleveland Bridge’s freehold property, and maximised the outcome from the sale of plant and equipment.Martyn Pullin Restructuring Advisory