70-year-old Scottish sawmill enters administration

Tue, 09 Jan 2018

A Falkirk firm that specialises in wood processing has entered administration on the back of a 74-year trading history, with 89 jobs expected to be lost.

James Callander & Son, which was founded in 1946, is a leading softwood supplier to the construction, packaging and fencing supply sectors. The company brings in logs at a rented site in Devilla, Fife, where it sorts and transfers logs to its headquarters in Falkirk where wood is processed and sent to customers.

Despite enjoying successes in recent years and turning over £12 million annually, the firm had made several losses recently prompted by challenging market conditions, funding constraints and disruption to services. In the year up to December 2016, it reported operating losses of £1.3 million; for 2015, these were almost £2 million.

As a result, KPMG’s Blair Nimmo and Tony Friar have been appointed as administrators to James Callander & Son as “funding difficulties” have continued.

The firm have already let go of 89 staff from its 95-strong workforce, with just six employees retained to assist administrators while they attempt to sell the company’s assets, which include stock, plant, specialist equipment and the freehold property in Falkirk.

Nimmo explained: “We will be working with all affected employees and the relevant government agencies to ensure a full range of support is available.

“We will also be exploring the possibility of securing a sale of the company’s assets and would encourage any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible.”

The company first ran into trouble once James Callander & Son breached lending covenants on several bank loans in 2015, meaning they were repayable on demand, causing auditors to include a going concern warning in its accounts for the year.

Since then added financial assistance – including invoice financing facilities, asset finance and bank term loan – was needed to meet day-to-day working capital requirements.

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