Sale-based Styles & Wood’s parent company Extentia Group has taken the “difficult but correct and responsible decision” to appoint administrators to the troubled fit-out contractor and immediately cease activities.
Craig Eastwood, chief executive of Extentia, said: “Extentia’s programme management business Styles & Wood has experienced significant cashflow issues following a handful of large developer-led projects. By nature, this type of work is complex with high revenues and low margins; a situation inherited by Extentia Group’s new leadership team who succeeded predecessors at the end of November 2019.
“Unfortunately these cashflow issues have become too significant for Styles & Wood to sustain, and so the difficult but correct and responsible decision has been made to file an intention to appoint administrators and discontinue all programme management activities.
“Our focus now is to work with our stakeholders and advisers to explore options for the Styles & Wood businesses, making it a priority to protect the interests of our colleagues and those employed within connected Styles & Wood divisions.”
The news follows a difficult 2019 for Styles & Wood, which saw the company replaced on a couple of high-profile projects in the region, and senior members of its management team depart.
At India Buildings in Liverpool, Styles & Wood was delivering a £38m fit-out contract, which was terminated in September, and Caddick Construction appointed to take over.
At the time Styles & Wood said a “dispute has arisen” and the company was seeking legal advice, describing the termination of the contract as “wrongful”.
The refurbishment project had seen a series of complications and delays, after the discovery of nearly 400 tonnes of asbestos and additional works which required specialist planning permission. Caddick was later replaced on the scheme by Overbury.
In July, Styles & Wood was also taken off Hyphen, Boultbee Brooks’ 52,000 sq ft office on Manchester’s Mosley Street set to be occupied by WeWork. At the time Styles & Wood told Place North West the project had “significant issues which gave rise to delays”.
In November, Tony Lenehan, chief executive, and Phil Lanigan, chief financial officer, of Styles & Wood and Extentia Group, both left the business.
Lenehan and Lanigan were both long-time senior staff at Sale-based Styles & Wood. The company became part of Extentia, a property services group formed when Central Square Holdings acquired Styles & Wood and furniture company Southerns in 2018. Following the deal Lenehan became chief executive of both Styles & Wood and Extentia.
Eastwood, previously executive director of the Group’s furniture fixtures and equipment business, was appointed replacement chief executive.
Extentia is made up of 11 businesses. These include interior design consultant SpaceInvader; furniture supplier Ralph Capper; and engineering consultant GDM.
Regarding the financial position of the wider group, Eastwood said: “Overall trading conditions within Extentia Group are positive, with strong year on year growth across the majority of businesses, and each having solid forward pipelines. These include Extentia’s furniture, fixtures and equipment businesses Southerns, Broadstock and Ralph Capper, together with Extentia’s professional services entities which include Space Invader Design, Keysource, GDM and Concourse Facilities Management.
“Extentia Group’s FF&E and professional services businesses remain unaffected, and with the continued support of our stakeholders and funders we are very confident about the future. All of our FF&E and professional services businesses are trading well and we are firmly placed to capitalise on the pipeline of opportunities that have been secured.”