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Lorne Stewart acquires Rotary UK businesses

Lorne Stewart has acquired four Rotary UK businesses and saved 391 jobs, while three other divisions have gone into administration.

4th Utility Limited, a subsidiary of Lorne Stewart, has acquired Rotary’s 100 per cent shareholdings in Rotary North West, Rotary Yorkshire, Rotary Southern and Midlands-based division CA Sothers. The Rotary companies will continue to be run as independent standalone regional businesses.

Rotary Services (Northern Ireland), Rotary Scotland and Rotary Northern, in Newcastle, did not form part of the transaction and have been wound down.

A statement by administrators FTI Consulting said Chad Griffin and Simon Kirkhope were appointed joint administrators over Rotary and certain other group companies to effect the sale.

They oversaw the wind down of separate Rotary companies in other parts of the UK including Northern Ireland, Scotland and Newcastle. 

Rotary group has worked on Media City, in Manchester, and is understood to be bidding for the £30m M&E job on the Houses of Parliament, against Balfour Beatty and SSE Contracting.

Rotary UK and Rotary Ireland were put up for a ‘fast-track’ sale after Australian parent company and engineering firm Hastie Group entered voluntary administration in May with debts approaching £500 million.

Rotary chief executive officer Phil Laidlaw said in May that the Hastie administration offered ‘an opportunity for Rotary UK and ROI to emerge as a separate independent group’.

The Rotary group employed 890 staff last year, according to accounts. However, Lorne Stewart has announced that it has saved almost four hundred jobs (391) with its purchase of four Rotary UK businesses, but 146 others have been made redundant as three other Rotary divisions have gone into administration, it was confirmed today

Prior to the acquisition, Lorne Stewart’s operations spanned 20 offices across the UK and employed over 1,200 people. In the financial year to 31 December 2011 the Lorne Stewart group reported revenues of over £162 million and profit after tax of approximately £5.7 million. 

Rotary UK bought CA Sothers in 2010, as part of an expansion since the Hastie takeover four years ago. It is made up of a several businesses in Scotland, Northern Ireland, North East, Yorkshire, North West, Central and Southern England.

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