“unprofitable contracts” contribute to fall of Lakesmere

Richard Hawes and Nicholas Edwards of Deloitte LLP were appointed joint administrators of Graceful Holdings, Lakesmere Group and Lakesmere on November 2, 2017.

Since incorporation in 1993, Lakesmere’s turnover has increased by an average of 19% a year. Recent projects include Canary Wharf Crossrail station in London and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

In 2012 Lakesmere bought Northern Ireland-based McMullen Facades within hours of it having fallen into administration. This acquisition, adding specialist glazing capability and a plant in Portadown, reportedly helped fuel recent strong growth.

In December 2015, the business was bought out by six members of the management team, led by finance director Mark Johnson. Ted McMullen, managing director of McMullen Facades, subsequently became chief executive of the Lakesmere Group.

A year ago, there was said to be no sign of impending trouble and in October this year the company was even listed in the Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 list.

Announcing its annual financial results, with 45% profits growth, Ted McMullen reportedly said business was flourishing. Growth of the business is said to have been attributed to demand for the company’s in-house manufacturing capabilities and off-site construction solutions.

The affairs, business and assets of the companies, which have around 900 employees, are now being managed by the joint administrators and 109 jobs are said to have been lost in England.

Richard Hawes, Deloitte administrator, said: “Lakesmere Limited has experienced financial challenges, arising from a number of unprofitable contracts.

“This has resulted in Lakesmere Limited being placed into administration. Unfortunately, a number of redundancies have to be made in the UK and we are offering those affected support at this difficult time.

“We are currently assessing the options available, including a potential sale of McMullen Facades, which is continuing to trade solvently.”