A company that was one of the main highways contractors for Liverpool City Council, that collapsed into administration, has been revealed as owing over £18 million to creditors.
Vital Infrastructure Asset Management – which was formerly known as King Construction – was unable to continue trading because of cash flow problems and had been working on a number of major road projects.
It was revealed the company owed over £7 million is owed to the parent company, Angel Bidco, while some £6.3 million is owed to HMRC. Other large debts include over £500,000 owed to Cemex UK materials and the former owner of King Construction, Mark Doyle, is owed around £200,000 through two companies he controlled. Health and safety company, Safety Support Consultants is owed £38,000, while a further creditor is Liverpool Football Club, which is owed £13,600. Liverpool City Council was also left with a bill for around £675,000 to complete roadworks schemes that were left unfinished.
Mark Doyle left King Construction in 2019, following a buy-out to NVM Private Equity LLP, which bought a 70.3% stake in the company in December 2019.
Vital Infrastructure, which had to make 300 employees redundant, began to struggle when it was hit with a £3 million debt because of a ‘contractual dispute’. This resulted in liquidity problems and led to increasing numbers of delayed payments to the company’s contractors and more borrowing. The business was also affected by the pandemic and in May 2021, it was reported that creditors took plant machinery from sites in Bootle and Skelmersdale without permission. Although NVM Private Equity invested some £18.5 million in Vital Infrastructure, along with loans from other lenders totaling around £7 million these were insufficient to keep the business afloat. It was reported that even secured creditors will be unlikely to receive full repayment.