Carillion on the brink: Government contractor crashes 30%

Carillion is on the brink of collapse with debts of about £1.5bn and a £587m pension deficit 

Carillion is on the brink of collapse with debts of about £1.5bn and a £587m pension deficit 

Carillion is on the brink of collapse with debts of about £1.5bn and a £587m pension deficit 

Shares in crisis-hit Carillion crashed nearly 30 per cent as fears grew that rescue talks would fail.

The key Government contractor, which is working on the HS2 high-speed rail link as well as hospitals and roads around the country, is on the brink of collapse with debts of about £1.5billion and a pension deficit of £587million.

Bosses have been in talks with lenders, including HSBC, Barclays and Santander, since Wednesday, centring on efforts to reduce debt or recapitalise.

But shares slumped to just 14.2p yesterday on reports that they had rejected the rescue plan as not being strong enough, and have asked the Government to step in.

The builder has also put accountants EY on standby to oversee an administration in case rescue efforts fail. 

After markets closed yesterday, Carillion issued a statement stressing that talks were ongoing and the business plan has not been rejected.

A spokesman said: ‘When we have an update on those discussions, an announcement will be made in due course.’

Yesterday Carillion’s pension fund trustees were due to meet Whitehall officials to ask for help to protect 28,500 members of its defined benefit schemes.

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