A meeting is to be held with staff at Maurice Stevenson Ltd today (Wednesday) after the company was placed into administration earlier this week - putting 33 jobs at risk.
Maurice Stevenson Limited (MSL), one of Northern Ireland’s longest established mechanical installation firms, has appointed Administrator Gerard Gildernew to assess the options available in respect of the business.
The family-owned company, which has a history stretching back almost 100 years is based in Lurgan’s Annesborough Industrial Estate and currently employs around 33 staff.
In recent years, the Company has experienced a number of financial challenges following a downturn in the sector generally, resulting in contractors going into insolvency with consequential bad debts, compounded by increasingly tight margins and the marked reduction in public sector works orders.
The death of the Company head, David Stevenson, in 2012 created significant challenges for his widow whose best efforts to keep the business going could not overcome the toughening market conditions.
In the coming days, the Administrator will work with the Directors to ascertain if a buyer can be found for the business and thus avoid the company having to close its doors.
Speaking about the possible closure Mrs Alison Stevenson said: “It is with the deepest of regret that we find ourselves having to place the company into administration. I want to pay a heartfelt tribute to current and former staff who have worked hard and demonstrated immense loyalty to this firm and our family down through the years.”
Expressions of interest in acquiring the company’s business should be communicated to the Administrator’s office in the first instance.
The Administrator met with all staff on Monday evening to inform them of the company entering administration. For staff off on sick leave or on holiday, the administrator tried to make contact with them by telephone. The Administrator continues to work to find a buyer for the business and no staff members have been made redundant to date.
In respect of outstanding wages, the Administrator will keep staff updated as part of the outworking of the administration. The Administrator is not presently able to confirm if he will be paying outstanding wages.
Wages and salaries were all paid last Friday in the usual timescales. All staff have been asked to attend a meeting today (Wednesday) to update them on progress.
SDLP representative Dolores Kelly said “This is devastating news for the employees and their families.
“Whilst I am sure that this was a difficult decision for the company which dates back to 1921, it is important now that the employees who have loyally served the company for many years are well looked after by way of pay and redundancy.”