Major losses see O’Keefe Construction heading for CVA

Civils contractor O’Keefe Construction (Greenwich Ltd) is entering a Company Voluntary Arrangement with its creditors after suffering a “significant loss” in the financial year to May 2021.

The well-known firm has been in business for more than 50 years on sites across London and the South East.

Directors called-in RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP following the cashflow challenges and are now proposing a CVA.

O’Keefe said if creditors approve the move it “will secure the company’s future as a going concern and allow it to continue to service its ongoing clients.

“Crucially, a CVA will also maximise the returns to the company’s creditors, compared to alternative restructuring procedures.”

A company statement added: “On successful approval of the CVA proposal, the company’s shareholders will contribute additional sums to support its short-term cashflow and to ensure the business has increased liquidity levels.

“The financial restructuring afforded by the CVA, alongside operational improvements made to the business, will ensure that O’Keefe is well-placed to complete its ongoing and profitable work, and to fulfil its client needs.”

Directors said they were “optimistic regarding the future success of the company in view of the significant forward order book and improving project margins.”

CEO Patrick O’Keefe said: “The board were tasked with delivering the business out of the current difficulties and after taking specialist advice, has agreed to enter into a CVA to allow this mechanism to secure the long-term success and profitability of the business.”

“Thanks to our exceptional staff, our current portfolio of jobs is trading very well. The conclusion of the CVA process will immediately put the business in a positive footing”

The CVA does not apply to O’Keefe Demolition which operates as a separate business.

The company was formed in 1970 by Patrick O’Keefe Senior who had come to London from his native Ireland as a 19-year-old to seek work as a ganger on building sites.

Latest full group results posted at Companies House for the year to May 31 2020 show a pre-tax loss of £1.8m from a turnover of  £61.1m as the business employed 178 staff.