Administrators appointed after no ‘viable offers’ for Metnor’s sister company

Administrators have been appointed at Norstead, a sister company of collapsed Newcastle-based contractor Metnor, after attempts to secure a buyer failed.

M&E specialist Norstead, which turned over £20.3m in 2021, was forced to make 52 staff redundant before entering administration at the end of February.

The business, which operated from offices in Newcastle and Maidenhead, had suffered from financial challenges in recent months because of inflationary pressure on its profit margins, its administrators said.

Norstead ran an accelerated mergers and acquisitions process in recent weeks to find a buyer for the business and assets – but with no prospect of the business being sold as a going concern, the directors filed for administration.

FRP Advisory partners Steven Ross and Allan Kelly, who were appointed as joint administrators last week, said it had proved impossible to rescue the company.

“The directors launched an accelerated sale process, but without any viable offers, it was not possible to save the business, which has now ceased to trade,” Ross said. “Regrettably, this also meant staff were made redundant prior to the administration. We’re now supporting impacted staff and preparing for an asset sale.”

Norstead previously worked on projects including the expansion and redevelopment of the adult and neonatal intensive care facilities at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital (pictured) and the supply, installation, testing and commissioning all of the major plant requirements associated with M&E services to the Ikea store in Greenwich.

Sister company Metnor, which worked across a range of sectors including leisure, healthcare and student accommodation, entered administration last month with the loss of 80 jobs.

The company had been working on a £50m build-to-rent scheme in Birmingham when its client, the High Street Group, folded with debts of around £200m.

FRP, which is also acting as administrator for Metnor, said the company had “suffered significant financial challenges” in recent months because of contract losses and “the immense pressure on profit margins from rising input, labour and raw material prices and supply issues against fixed-price contracts”.

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