William Downer & Sons (IW) Limited

The Problem

William Downer & Sons (IW Limited) had been an established construction business on the Isle of Wight since the 1890s. The company’s customer base included local authorities, churches, The National Trust and private clients.

Over recent years, despite its reputation for providing quality work, business dwindled due to increased competition from local and mainland contractors in a shrinking market. Overdraft facilities, financial support from its Directors and cost saving measures kept the business afloat during this period. However, as the levels of enquiries, contracts and orders slowed down to practically zero in early 2011, the Directors sought advice from MLG Associates.

The Solution – how we helped

MLG immediately assessed the business, its current financial state and its future prospects. The conclusion of this assessment was that the company was insolvent and unable to continue operating. A voluntary liquidation process began.

As a long established business, many of William Downer and Sons’ employees had extremely long service with the company. We were able to help and oversee the redundancy process, ensuring that staff received their entitlements as early as possible.

With the assistance of Sovereign Credit Management, we actively pursued the recovery of outstanding debts owed to the company from an early stage in the process. This maximised the realisation of debtors.

The positive outcome from this pro-active debt recovery exercise has meant that we were able to pay William Downer and Sons’ preferential creditors in full at an early stage. In addition, unsecured creditors will receive a significant dividend within 12 months of the liquidation commencing.