Jehu Group business cease trading due to inflationary pressures

Date Published: 21st October 2022

Jehu Group business cease trading due to inflationary pressures

Jehu Group Limited, Jehu Project Services Limited and Waterstone Homes Limited have ceased trading and Begbies Traynor has been engaged to assist the directors in placing the companies into administration.

104 employees across the companies have been made redundant with effect from today, with five members of staff being retained to assist the directors with their duties.

Delivering construction and development projects for registered social landlords (RSLs) and Local Authorities (LA’s) in Wales and the South West, Jehu Project Services Limited had 15 live contracts with RSLs and LAs with a total remaining value in excess of £100m.

Waterstone Homes Limited was a builder of high-quality homes that was delivering a further two contracts for RSLs.

Meanwhile, Jehu Group Limited provides support services for the various group entities. This marks the closure of one of Wales’ leading construction and development businesses specialising in the social housing sector. The business was established in 1935 by Jack Jehu and has remained family-run since across three generations, with a fourth generation also becoming part of the workforce. Delivering fixed-price contracts with single digit margins that were agreed before the pandemic, the group’s cash reserves have been decimated by cost increases in excess of 25%.

Huw Powell, managing partner at Begbies Traynor in South Wales, said:

“This situation underlines the crushing impact of the current inflationary environment on an established and successful business. Pre-pandemic, the group was highly profitable and by 2019 had almost £7million in net assets. It continued to win high profile projects and was an award-winning business. However, delays in completing projects caused by the pandemic and subsequent cost increases caused a severe cash-flow crisis that it could not recover from, despite support from key stakeholders.

“It is hugely disappointing to see the group cease trading in these circumstances and highly regrettable that efforts to secure its future were unsuccessful, where the current political and economic turmoil counted against them. We are aware of the negative impact that this will have on the supply chain and hope that sub contractors will be able to work with the group’s customers to find the best possible solutions to complete existing projects.

“From our interactions with staff whilst we have provided advice to the group, it is clear that they remained loyal to and were proud to work for the business. Employees are of course devastated by today’s news, and I sincerely hope that their track record of delivering successful projects will stand them in good stead to gain new employment quickly.”

The directors of the companies, Marc and Simon Jehu, said:

“This is a truly devastating day for the business started by our grandfather over 85 years ago. Every possible option to keep the business alive has been completely exhausted and it with desolate hearts that we find ourselves with no choice but to cease trading. We did everything possible to avoid closure, but we were fighting a battle that simply couldn’t be won due to the successive economic shocks of the past couple of years.

“Our thoughts are first and foremost with our devoted colleagues who have lost their jobs, many of whom have given more than 25 years of service. We would like to thank the loyal and steadfast clients and supply chain who supported us, often carrying the added burden of those who sought to capitalise on our difficulties.

“We understand this is a worrying time for our colleagues, supply chain partners and customers. We are working with Begbies Traynor to get the best outcome from an impossibly difficult situation.”

Further updates will be made when the information is available. In the meantime, creditors with urgent queries can email [email protected].

About the author

Huw Powell

Partner, Cardiff and Swansea

Meet our Team of Experts

Huw is a chartered certified accountant with more than 14 years' experience working with businesses that are experiencing financial difficulties.

His impressive network of contacts and relationships with key stakeholders - from lenders and creditors to turnaround specialists – is key in strengthening Begbies Traynor's presence in Wales.

Huw's track record of success within insolvency speaks for itself and he is a major asset within the strong Cardiff setup, which has a combined total of more than 200 years' experience of recovery and rescue work.

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