Car­il­lion chases debts in bid to ease fears

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Front page - By Rhiannon Bury

CAR­IL­LION has em­barked on a charm of­fen­sive as it seeks to call in debts and re­as­sure part­ners that bil­lions of pounds worth of global con­struc­tion projects are not threat­ened by its fi­nan­cial trou­bles.

The con­trac­tor has been hold­ing emer­gency meet­ings with joint ven­ture part­ners on a num­ber of schemes in or­der to re­as­sure ri­vals that their own fu­tures are not en­dan­gered by Car­il­lion’s prob­lems.

It cur­rently has joint ven­tures with com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Kier, fund man­ager Dutch In­fra­struc­ture Fund and Dubai-based con­glom­er­ate Al-fut­taim. Ear­lier this month, Car­il­lion is­sued a shock profit warn­ing, which wiped 71pc and al­most £600m off its stock mar­ket value.

Mean­while, it has been try­ing to mit­i­gate the im­pact of its cash flow prob­lems by seek­ing ur­gent pay­ment on projects across the world.

The com­pany blamed £470m of write­downs partly on losses over­seas in­clud­ing the Msheireb project in down­town Doha. Sources close to the com­pany said for­mer boss Richard How­son, who re­cently stepped down, had been vis­it­ing the Qatari cap­i­tal ev­ery month since the be­gin­ning of last year in a bid to ne­go­ti­ate fi­nal pay­ments for the con­tract, which could amount to more than £200m.

Car­il­lion has blamed “cash flow is­sues” for ex­ac­er­bat­ing its debt prob­lems.

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