Northern Ireland

Parts of Kennedy property group in administration

Parts of the Kennedy Group, the Coleraine property business, were placed into administration earlier this year after one of the companies was unable to stick to an agreement to reduce its overdraft.

J Kennedy and Co Contractors, and three related firms, went into administration at the request of the Bank of Ireland which was owed just over £1m.

The company was the construction arm of the group and most of its work was for other Kennedy Group companies.

The administrators report said the firm had been badly affected by the property crash and by July this year its overdraft was "significantly in excess of its limit."

The company agreed a repayment plan but could only sustain it until early October when the directors decided the firm could no longer continue trading.

At that time the company said the downturn in the construction industry, "coupled with the lack of support available within the banking sector", had left the directors "no option" but to cease operations.

After going into administration its staff of 41 were all made redundant.

The administrators, from financial consultancy Ernst and Young, said J Kennedy and Co Contractors is owed "significant amounts" from other Kennedy Group companies and that they are investigating how much of that money is likely to be paid back.

The other companies which went into administration at the same time all provided services to the contracting business.

They were Kennedy Crane Hire, Kennedy Concrete Products and J Kennedy and Company (Manufacturing) which provided joinery services.

The bulk of the Kennedy Group, which has a portfolio of retail and leisure assets, continues to trade.

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