gra­ham huband busi­ness edi­tor

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS -

Car­il­lion is in dire straits.

The con­struc­tion gi­ant em­ploys 43,000 peo­ple and is drown­ing in a sea of debt that in­cludes a pen­sions short­fall in the hun­dreds of mil­lions.

Just 12 months ago, stock in the group – whose high­est pro­file in Scot­land right now is as a con­trac­tor on the Aberdeen Western Pe­riph­eral Route – was trad­ing at north of 230 pence per share.

It closed at less than a tenth of that price on Thurs­day night.

The group’s roller­coaster ride re­ally be­gan in July when it is­sued a ma­jor prof­its warn­ing and an­nounced a “com­pre­hen­sive re­view” of the busi­ness and its cap­i­tal structure.

The up­date didn’t just give in­vestors chills, it froze them to the bone.

The draft­ing in of for­mer Stage­coach boss Keith Cochrane as in­terim CEO was a rare bright note, but the bad news just kept com­ing with a fur­ther prof­its warn­ing in Septem­ber.

The firm – which holds a large num­ber of public sec­tor con­tracts and which is on the frame­work to build the UK Gov­ern­ment’s flag­ship HS2 high speed train net­work – is now fight­ing for sur­vival.

If it fails, the con­se­quences for staff, the pro­vi­sion of public ser­vices in the UK and the econ­omy will be pro­found.

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