One of HS2’s main contractors on brink of collapse

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A major contractor responsible for building part of the HS2 line is on the brink of collapse.

Carillion, a major supplier to the Government and named among the firms awarded deals for the building of phase one of HS2, is set to meet with lenders in the coming days to try and avoid collapsing.

The line will pass right through Burton Green, very close to Cubbington and Offchurch, and is likely to cause heavy traffic problems in nearby Kenilworth.

A company spokesman said: “As previously indicated, Carillion is in constructive discussions with a broad range of stakeholders regarding its options to reduce net debt and recapitalise or restructure the group’s balance sheet.

“The group is currently finalising its business plan, which it intends to present to its financial creditors and certain other stakeholders.

“Once finalised, the business plan will provide the basis for the agreement of a proposal to restore Carillion’s balance sheet.”

Carillion’s chief executive, Richard Howson, stepped down in July after a profit warning and writedown. Its new boss, Andrew Davies, is taking over from the interim chief executive, Keith Cochrane, on January 22, three months earlier than planned.

Analysts estimate Carillion has debts including pensions of about £1.5bn, while its market capitalisation is just £81m.

The business is currently under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority.