One of the island’s largest building contractors has ceased trading with immediate effect.
Camerons, which is part of the Guernsey-based Garenne Group, said that it was forced to close down because of spiralling material and labour costs, as well as the impact of the pandemic and Brexit.
The company is currently lead contractor at Merchant Square in Bath Street, and the redevelopment of Ann Court.
It is understood that Andium Homes has already taken back the Ann Court site and appointed Rok as a replacement contractor.
In a letter to customers today, seen by Express, Camerons' Board of Directors wrote: “Camerons, as with many businesses in the building sector, has been adversely impacted over a sustained period by a series of events, including (without limitation) Brexit and the covid-19 pandemic, as well as the consequential strain on the supply chain, the limited availability of materials and labour, and the spiralling costs, that have all followed.
“These factors, along with the increasingly onerous fiscal environment that now exists, have resulted in significant pressure being placed on Camerons' business over recent months, and have left Camerons in a position where it has been unable to manage unforeseen additional costs on a number of its key contracts.
“As a result of the above, Camerons is no longer in a position where it can continue to operate as a going concern, and the Board have taken the decision to cause Camerons to cease trading with immediate effect.”
Pictured: It is understood that Andium Homes has already taken back the Ann Court site. (Rob Currie)
The letter added: “The Board is now in the process of commencing formal proceedings to wind down Camerons’ business.
“This will subsequently be followed by the appointment of independent insolvency professionals who will implement an orderly realisation of Camerons’ assets, and liaise with creditors in accordance with the appropriate insolvency process under Jersey law.
“This has been a very difficult decision for the Board to make. However, having exhausted the options available to it to try and renegotiate the terms of the problematic contracts without success, and having consulted with relevant third parties and with government, the Board feel that such a step is in the best interests of Camerons, having regard to the interests of Camerons' creditors as a whole.”
The board said that further announcements relating to its decision to start formal proceedings to wind down the business, and to appoint an independent insolvency professional, would follow in due course. Once the insolvency professionals are appointed to Camerons, they will be in touch with you to provide further information.
It added: “In the meantime, the sites on which Camerons has been operating, and all property and assets on those sites, have been secured.”
“The board is aware that certain suppliers will also have ongoing projects with entities such as AFM Limited, Granite Le Pelley Limited (Jersey) or another entity within the Garenne Group. The board wishes to assure those suppliers that these entities are continuing and are not affected by the winding down of Camerons.”
The letter asked that suppliers and stakeholders should email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Tuesday lunchtime, Camerons issued a press release, which reiterated the points sent in its letter to customers.
It added: "For the avoidance of doubt, the decision by the Camerons Board to cease trading has no bearing on the position of the Garenne Group and its entities. The group entities are continuing to trade as going concerns with the full support of the group."
Le Masurier is the owner of the Merchants Square development, which includes a Premier Inn, in Bath Street.
Pictured: Le Masurier's Merchants Square development is currently being built.
In a statement, the family-owned firm's Managing Director, Brian McCarthy, said: “The past few years have been challenging for the construction industry and Le Masurier is deeply saddened by the news that Camerons will cease trading.
"We have been working with the construction firm on our Merchants Square development, which is still ongoing.
"I would like to reassure purchasers, homeowners and sub-contractors that alternative arrangements are already in place, and construction will continue as planned with Le Masurier effectively stepping in directly to complete the development.
"We are fully committed to see the development on Bath Street through to completion and have adequate funding and resourcing in place to achieve this.”
Giving an update on its position vis-à-vis Camerons, social housing provider Andium Homes said: "Following confirmation that Camerons (Jersey) Limited has been declared insolvent and liquidation proceedings will shortly commence, Andium Homes has reassured clients living at Cyril Le Marquand Court [formerly Ann Court] that they will not be affected, and that work will continue on site without interruption.
"[Andium] prepares for these eventualities and has already taken steps to appoint a replacement and reputable contracting partner - ROK Construction - who will start with immediate effect.
"Cyril Le Marquand Court is in the latter stages of construction with 80 homes already occupied. The final phases of the scheme will see 85 more homes, a new public open space and a public and residents’ car park. The remaining work is now due to be completed over the next 12 months."
Ian Gallichan, Chief Executive Officer at Andium Homes added: “While this is disappointing, we are confident that the impact to our clients and the project will be minimal and managed effectively.
"We are working closely with our new contractor to ensure the successful transfer and secure the continuity of this important project.
"We understand the concerns of Camerons' former employees and sub-contractors on site and will be assisting ROK to ensure continuity of employment, for those that want it.”
We have reassured all our clients living at Cyril Le Marquand Court that they will be unaffected by the change in contractor and to answer any specific questions.
"As a considerate constructor, ROK Construction will also then be available to explain the completion of the construction and manage any concerns as works progress."
More to follow...
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