Yesterday, in the face of costly contract delays and a recent drought in new business, British construction giant Carillion went belly up. Analysts have dubbed it Britain’s “biggest corporate failure” in a decade.
The 200-year-old company employed 43k people globally (20k in the UK alone), and has reportedly been “fighting for survival” since July, drowning in $3B of debt.
What is Carillion?
Carillion is typically described as a construction company, but they branded themselves as an “integrated supported services business.”
The company owned around 450 government contracts, including hospital and defense construction projects, the maintenance of nearly half of the UK’s prisons, the delivery of dinner to 30k schoolkids a day, and overseeing the development of Britain’s new high-speed rail line.
The impact of this fall could reportedly stretch outside the UK: Carillion managed projects all over the globe, from Madrid to Texas.
Who’ll be affected the most?
While the British government claims public services will not be disrupted, experts can’t say the same for smaller construction suppliers, who count on Carillion for a majority of their income.
That said, the government awarded Carillionstle. state contracts last year, knowing full well they were on hard times.
The bigger concern here should lie in the form of a question from British taxpayers to Theresa May’s government: “Why in the bloody hell did you put all your eggs in one contractor’s basket??”
Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox
Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less