29 Jun 2022

Varadkar responds as major Irish construction firm enters receivership

Varadkar responds as major Irish construction firm enters receivership

Varadkar responds as major Irish construction firm enters receivership | Picture: Adrian Butler

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has responded after it was announced that the Limerick-based construction company Roadbridge has entered receivership.

In a statement, the board of the firm said that as a result of "insurmountable financial challenges", Roadbridge Holdings has requested Bank of Ireland to appoint receivers.

The receivers are Stephen Tennant and Nicholas O’Dwyer of Grant Thornton.

Founded in 1967, and headquartered in the Ballysimon Road in Limerick, Roadbridge is a civil engineering and construction company which directly employs 630 people in Ireland, Britain and Sweden. It's understood approximately 150 staff are employed by Roadbridge in Limerick.

Varadkar, who is also the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment described the news as "extremely concerning," addedin, "my thoughts are with the employees, many of whom I know dedicated their entire careers to the company."

“We are still gathering the full information. I have asked my officials and those in Enterprise Ireland to engage with the company as a matter of urgency.

“Again I am very aware of how disappointing this news is for the company’s hundreds of employees and the wider community. The Government is on hand to help in whatever way it can," he concluded.

Staff from Roadbridge are in the process of constructing the Coonagh to Knockalisheen Road in Limerick and are also involved in a project to deliver a number of modular units in the Moyross estate.

It's understood construction equipment was removed from the site of the €58m roads project on Friday.

Roadbridge chair Aidan Murphy stated: "We have been working tirelessly for the last number of months to find a solution to the grave challenges faced by the company. My fellow directors and I greatly regret having to take this step, but unfortunately, it was the only possible option at this time.

"The board recognise the support of all our stakeholders, including our bank, Bank of Ireland, in difficult circumstances as the directors explored every opportunity to save the Company. We are committed to working closely with the Receivers now in order to get the best possible outcome for employees, creditors and stakeholders."

National reports suggest Roadbridge owes an estimated €30m to €35m to Bank of Ireland, its main creditor, but also has mounting trade liabilities.

At the same time, it has building contracts worth a total of €750 million over the next two-and-a-half to three years. Management hoped this would help attract investment or a buyer.

Roadbridge specialises in large projects worth tens or possibly hundreds of millions of euro each. Insiders say that it has traded on very tight profits, between 1.5 per cent and 2 per cent, leaving little room for error or unforeseen risks.

Founded and controlled by the Mulcair family, Roadbridge has operations in Ireland, Britain, Europe and has worked in the Middle East.

The firm is also involved in the high-profile High Speed Two rail project in Britain, with trade publications cross-channel reporting its staff stopped working on one of these sites yesterday.

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