One of the British state’s biggest contractors collapsed Monday, putting thousands of jobs at risk, after creditors and the government refused to bail out a company struggling under the weight of more than £1.5 billion ($2.6 billion) of debt.
Carillion said it had no choice but to go into compulsory liquidation after weekend talks with creditors failed to get the short-term financing it needed to continue operating. The construction and services company is working on major public works projects, such as the HS2 rail line in northern England, while also maintaining prisons, cleaning hospitals and providing school lunches.
“This is a very sad day for Carillion, for our colleagues, suppliers and customers that we have been proud to serve over many years,” Chairman Philip Green said.
The company employs 43,000 people worldwide who now face the risk of redundancy. Almost half of them are in the U.K., though Carillion also has a presence in the Middle East, Canada and the Caribbean.
Carillion Canada says on its website it employs 6,000 people and generates about $1 billion annually in Canada through energy transmission, construction and services in sectors including oil and gas, health care, and aviation, plus roads maintenance services for approximately 40,000 kilometres of highways across Ontario and Alberta.
A spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation said Monday it had met with Carillion Canada and was advised that its winter road maintenance services are continuing uninterrupted.
However, the ministry says it will continue to meet with the company and will provide updates to the travelling public as they become available.