Lonsdale went down owing £65m to supply chain

The scale of the firm’s debts were highlighted in a report from administrator Begbies Traynor seen by the Enquirer.

The company’s fall sent shock waves through the industry with Lonsdale ranked in the top 10 M&E firm’s nationally and a leading light in London working with major commercial clients on a string of iconic projects.

Lonsdale also owed £50m in inter-company loans and £2.9m to 265 staff after becoming an employee-owned trust in 2020.

More than 600 subcontractors and suppliers have been left holding unpaid invoices with unsecured creditors unlikely to see any return.

Begbies said Lonsdale successfully navigated the hurdles of Covid and Brexit despite the “commercial aggressiveness from general contractors.”

It was brought down by a combination of inflation and a reduction in its credit rating.

The report stated: “Operating as a Tier 1 Contractor in the London area, the company faced a new hurdle in 2023 as credit ratings started to decline, placing strain on its cash reserves, insurers drastically reduced its credit ratings in August 2023.

“Some instances forced the business to operate on pro-forma invoices, posing a significant challenge for a business with a £250 million turnover.”

Lonsdale directors went looking for an emergency cash injection this summer but a string of offers hit complications leading to the business going into administration in October.