Cooper & Oxley on the brink
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Cooper & Oxley Builders, which is one of the 10 largest construction companies in Perth, has suspended work on its projects while it reviews its financial viability.
Managing director George Hampel sent a memo to contractors yesterday stating that the builder is presently not in a position to pay its accounts.
“Accordingly, no further work should be undertaken by you,” the memo stated.
“It is expected that an update on the status of Cooper & Oxley Builders Pty Ltd, whether and what works will continue and status of your outstanding account will be provided within one week.”
The memo was obtained by radio station 6PR and published this morning.
Since then, the company has declined requests for further information.
Cooper & Oxley is working on 11 major projects collectively worth $309 million, according to data supplied to Business News by the company last year.
On this basis, it is the 10th largest WA builder listed on the BNiQ Search Engine.
Its projects include Karratha Health Campus (a joint venture with Multiplex), and the hotel, office and cinema development at 500 Hay St in Subiaco.
It is also building four suburban shopping centres and two aged care facilities, and was the builder of the recently completed Scarborough beach swimming pool.
Cooper & Oxley has been operating for 66 years and delivered $2 billion of projects over the past decade.
One of its largest completed projects was the $102 million Cockburn Gateway Shopping Centre expansion.
Mr Hampel joined the business in 1963 as a building clerk and has been managing director since 1982.
Other key people are commercial manager Phil Durston, new business manager David Hampel and chief financial officer Shayne Hampel.
Multiplex issued a statement today saying the Karratha Health Campus was on schedule, on budget and on target to be completed in accordance with its contractual obligations.
"At this stage Multiplex has not been formally advised by Cooper & Oxley of an insolvency event," the company said.
"If this was to occur, it would remain business as usual for Multiplex in the delivery of the Karratha Health Campus.
"No delays to the project are anticipated and all subcontractors will continue to be paid as normal."
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety’s Building and Energy division is investigating reports that Cooper & Oxley Builders Pty Ltd (BC8529) has entered voluntary administration,” Mr Bowron said in a statement.
“At the time of this statement, the department had received no formal notification of this having occurred.”
Mr Bowron said all registered building contractors are required to notify the department if they cease to have a nominated supervisor, or are no longer able to meet their financial obligations under the Building Services (Registration) Act.
“The department has not received such a notification from Cooper & Oxley Builders,” he added.
“The Building Commissioner had received no previous information to indicate the company may have been in financial distress and notes that there were no current or recent court actions against the company.”