Stewart Milne Group appoints administrators

Stewart Milne

Aberdeen-based housebuilder Stewart Milne Group has appointed administrators, with over 200 employees being made redundant.

The company announced in April 2022 it was embarking on a sale process of its housebuilding business following the decision of founder, principal shareholder and chairman Stewart Milne to retire nearly 50 years after founding the group.

The firm sold its timber frame business in late 2021 to focus on housebuilding.

In December 2022 the firm put the sale process “on hold for now” due to the “uncertainty” in the housing market.

On Monday, the firm said: “On 8 January 2024 Adele Macleod, Gavin Park and Matt Smith of Teneo were appointed as administrators of Stewart Milne Group Limited and Stewart Milne Homes North West England Limited.

“Furthermore, Adele Macleod and Matt Smith were appointed administrators in respect of five other entities within the wider Stewart Milne group … Stewart Milne Homes Central Scotland Limited, Stewart Milne Central Scotland (Developments) Limited, Stewart Milne (Arbroath) Limited, Stewart Milne Homes (Auchterarder) Limited and Stewart Milne Homes (Kirkton) Limited …

“The companies ceased trading with immediate effect on 8 January 2024.  No further construction is being completed, at this time, by the companies as a result of the administrations.

“The administrators will shortly be contacting all known customers with reservations, creditors, suppliers, subcontractors and hired plant/equipment providers.”

Founder Stewart Milne said in a statement: “I am devastated by this totally unexpected outcome of the sale process and struggling to accept it, given the profound impact it will have on employees, sub-contractors, suppliers and customers.

“Stewart Milne Group was up for sale and, following significant interest, two bids were submitted. The bank has not accepted either bid and withdrawn its funding which left the directors with no option but to appoint administrators.

“I tried everything I could to find a way to achieve a better outcome for the business and the people who depend on it.

“I believe one of the bids could have delivered a comparable, financial return to administration and, crucially, allowed the business to continue to operate, safe-guarding hundreds of jobs and protecting livelihoods.”

Adele MacLeod of Teneo said: “The downturn in the UK housing market combined with an extensive sales process not resulting in any viable offers has ultimately led to the need for the directors to place Stewart Milne Group Limited and some of its subsidiaries into administration, regretfully with some immediate redundancies.

“We continue to assess all the options in respect of the group’s Scottish development sites and encourage any party with an interest to get in touch.”

A Lloyds Banking Group spokesperson said: “When a company experiences financial difficulties, we will always try to find a solution that places the business onto a sounder financial footing without the need for any insolvency process.

“Unfortunately, despite several years of support and forbearance, including multiple maturity extensions to the borrowing, this has not been possible in this instance.

“We will now work with the administrators, as they consider the best options for the business.”