EC&M into administration

Henderson-based electrical contractor EC&M has entered administration this morning, with about 400 staff to be temporarily stood down.

Clint Joseph and Martin Jones from KPMG were appointed administrators of the 33-year-old company.

EC&M's biggest current project was an electrical, instrumentation and controls package for work at the Tianqi lithium refinery in Kwinana.

The business won that contract in November 2017.

Other recent roles have included supplying grain handling equipment for CBH Group, while EC&M previously worked at Chevron’s Wheatstone project and Roy Hill’s namesake project.

In 2012, it was a winner in the Business News Rising Stars awards.

Business News understands the company’s board had attempted a restructure in recent weeks with the support of key clients and its bank.

At least $10 million is owed to secured creditors.

“Circumstances changed and changed quite quickly, which resulted in the board being uncertain whether the journey they were embarking on would be achievable,” Mr Joseph told Business News this morning.

“Where we’re currently sitting today, employees will be stood down, because there's no money to pay entitlements at this point in time, while we urgently negotiate and try to get something in motion to redeploy staff and get things back up and running early next week.”

The company also operated offices in Tingalpa, Queensland and Mascot, NSW, with a branch in Port Hedland, according to its website.

The business was led by chief executive Simon Higgins, who has been involved in the company since 1996.

In a release this afternoon, Mr Joseph said employees would be updated as soon as administrators had a clearer picture of options.

“We very much appreciate the distress this news has caused employees and others," he said.

"As such, the Administrators have commenced an urgent and immediate assessment of the business and the options available.”

“Today is day one of a process, so there are many questions yet to be answered.

"First and critically, we must secure the ongoing support of the company’s key clients and other stakeholders in order to secure a future for the business.”

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