GRAHAM HUBAND BUSINESS EDITOR
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.