KPMG administrators save 750 jobs through pre-pack

KPMG ADMINISTRATORS have saved more than 750 jobs at consultancy AEA Technology.

Will Wright (pictured) and Mark Orton, both at KPMG, were appointed joint administrators to companies that make up the consultancy which specialises in energy, water, air and environmental issues.

According to the administrators, the pension liability, estimated to be about £165m, dwarfed the revenues at the company and led to the insolvency process.

The UK operating business was acquired by engineering consultancy Ricardo, safeguarding 390 jobs based predominantly in Oxfordshire, London, Risley and Glengarnock.

However, the administrators sold the shares of the US trading subsidiary Eastern Research Group to NEK Acquisitions, a new company set up by one of the company’s former founders securing 374 jobs.

There were four redundancies across the operation, two in London and two in Oxfordshire. The four staff members worked across the UK and US operations. 

Wright, partner at KPMG, said: “The UK business fitted the ‘pension zombie’ bill as, despite its operational profitability, its pension scheme liability dwarfed revenues. Unable to sustain its pension liability, the company faced a funding crisis which necessitated the appointment of administrators.

“The company’s directors undertook comprehensive marketing of the operating businesses and there was a huge amount of interest with over 100 interested parties making contact. We are pleased that we have been able to secure new owners for these businesses, securing 764 jobs.

“Following today’s transactions the administrators are now working on selling the US subsidiary Project Performance Corporation Inc, a technology business which is not in any form of insolvency procedure and is trading normally,”

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