NuGen Properties

Stewart Milne falls into administration

Founder and chairman Stewart Milne

On 8th January 2024 administrators from Teneo were appointed to Stewart Milne Group Limited after a buyer could not be found.

Also in administration are Stewart Milne Homes North West England Limited, Stewart Milne Homes Central Scotland Limited, Stewart Milne Central Scotland (Developments) Limited, Stewart Milne (Arbroath) Limited, Stewart Milne Homes (Auchterarder) Limited and Stewart Milne Homes (Kirkton) Limited.

The companies, which operate sites across northeast Scotland, central Scotland and northwest England, ceased trading with immediate effect and no further construction is being completed. More than 200 jobs have been lost and hundreds more in its supply chain are jeopardised.

Joint administrator Adele MacLeod of Teneo said: “The downturn in the UK housing market combined with an extensive sales process not resulting in any viable offers has ultimately led to the need for the directors to place Stewart Milne Group Limited and some of its subsidiaries into administration, regretfully with some immediate redundancies.

“We continue to assess all the options in respect of the group’s Scottish development sites and encourage any party with an interest to get in touch.”

Founder and chairman Stewart Milne, aged 73, attempted to sell the business in 2022 so that he could retire from the business he had started in 1975. Ernst & Young was appointed financial adviser for this process but failed to conclude a deal. Milne had already sold its timber frame division in 2021 to Donaldson to reduce its debt burden. )ther options to restructure the group were ultimately deemed to be not viable.

In the year to 31st October 2022, it latest filed accounts, the group turned over £172m and made a pre-tax profit of £16.5m. Turnover was down £50m on the previous year because of the sale of the Timber Systems subsidiary.

Mr Milne told the press: “I am devastated by this totally unexpected outcome of the sale process and struggling to accept it, given the profound impact it will have on employees, sub-contractors, suppliers and customers.

“Stewart Milne Group was up for sale and, following significant interest, two bids were submitted. The bank has not accepted either bid and withdrawn its funding.

“I tried everything I could to find a way to achieve a better outcome for the business and the people who depend on it.

“I believe one of the bids could have delivered a comparable, financial return to administration and, crucially, allowed the business to continue to operate, safe-guarding hundreds of jobs and protecting livelihoods.”

The Teneo administrators said: “Following their appointment, the joint administrators will focus on realising the group’s assets and pursuing an orderly wind down of the business, retaining 54 employees to assist with managing this process. An additional 58 employees aligned with the operations of Stewart Milne Homes North West England (Developments) Limited have been retained.

“Regretfully, this means that 217 roles were made redundant shortly following the administrators’ appointment.”

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