Readie folds

Founder and chairman Stuart Read

Constantinos Pedhiou of Begbies Traynor (Central) and Gary Shankland of Begbies Traynor (London) were appointed as joint administrators of Readie Construction Limited on 6th February 2024.

In a statement, the administrators said: “Unfortunately, the company will cease to trade immediately and the joint administrators will begin to wind down its operations with immediate effect. Creditors of the Company are asked to contact Begbies Traynor on to register a claim.

“Having just been appointed, we are assessing the situation and further updates will be made as and when it is appropriate.”

It is less than three years since Readie became the UK’s largest employee-owned construction contractor and it had seen rapid growth in the interim.

In selling to an employee ownership trust in March 2021, Readie founder/chairman Stuart Read and managing director Paul Stephens agreed to take payments for their shares from future profits of the business. This meant that the business was sold without any external debt or finance.

In the year to 31st March 2023 Readie Construction turned over £421m, up 22% from the previous year’s £345m and more than double its 2020 turnover of £200m. However, pre-tax profit fell from £5.5m to £1.7m, with gross profit margin cut from 4% to 2%. Cash at bank and in hand at year-end amounted to more than £12m.

Readie Construction was set up by Stuart Read in 2008 with a senior management team comprising former colleagues from VolkerFitzpatrick.

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