Building firm Mivan ceases trading

The Antrim-based firm has ceased trading after being placed into administration earlier this month

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Mivan, one of Northern Ireland's best known construction companies, has ceased trading.

The Antrim-based firm employed 289 people and specialised in fitting out cruise ships and high-end commercial and residential developments.

It was placed into administration earlier this month.

Mivan made massive losses on projects in Romania, which led to a restructuring of the business in 2012.


Right up until last weekend there seemed to be some hope for Mivan. A number of big names in construction were rumoured to be interested in at least parts of the business.

I understand a deal could not be done because potential buyers balked at the cost of taking on Mivan as a trading business.

From day one, any buyer would be stuck with chunky liabilities relating to staff and existing contracts. However, some of those potential buyers remain interested in Mivan's assets.

For example, could another firm buy Mivan's factory premises in Antrim and restart operations with a new workforce?

However, it continued to face problems and late in 2013, it entered talks with Lagan Group Holdings about a possible takeover deal, but the discussions ended without agreement.

Earlier this month, 98 of its workers were made redundant. It is understood that the jobs were lost across the company after some clients cancelled contracts.

The firm continued to trade while the administrator sought a buyer for some or all of the business.

However, an additional 144 redundancies were confirmed on Monday.

'Meaningful interest'

Peter Allen of Deloitte said: "We received a number of indicative offers, but unfortunately no purchaser was able to complete.

"Although the business will now close, we are hopeful that there will be meaningful interest in a packaged sale of the assets."

A number of staff will be retained to assist the administrator finalise some existing contracts that are close to completion.

Mivan was founded by Ivan McCabrey in 1975, and he quickly moved into overseas contracting.

In the early 1980s, the firm was involved in a wide range of projects in Iraq, including power stations, apartments and a palace for Saddam Hussein.

The company continued to win work in the Middle East, including the restoration of the prestigious Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, for which it won a Queen's Award for Export.

Other high-profile jobs included fit-outs at Disneyland Paris, the Millennium Dome, the Scottish Parliament Building at Holyrood in Edinburgh, and One Hyde Park, London's most expensive apartment development.

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