R&W Civil Engineering rescued from administration


R&W Civil Engineering Limited has been rescued from administration by a major transport infrastructure provider, for an undisclosed sum.  

Octavius Infrastructure Limited has purchased the business assets and most of the customer contracts of the civils contractor, and R&W Limited, based in the south of England. 

R&W Civil Engineering filed a ‘notice of intention to appoint an administrator’ with the Companies Court on Thursday 13 July (2023).  

Consultants at business advisory firm James Cowper Kreston had provisionally been proposed as joint administrators, court files suggested.  

However, the company revealed it was also in “very advanced talks” about the procurement of the businesses by an external party, although it was unable to say at the time who the new owners were. 

Following extensive due diligence, the acquisition aims to ensure continuity for R&W’s employees, customers, and supply chain, said Octavius. 

Octavius added it is “committed to ensuring a smooth transition for all, minimising disruption as far as is possible”. 

R&W has been operating across the south of England since 1981.  

It provides a range of civil engineering, environmental and plant services to both public and private clients, with specialist expertise in highways maintenance.    

Accounts for a R&W Civil Engineering Limited, headquartered in Southampton, made up to 31 March 2022, report turnover of £31.8 million (FY2021 £34.6 million).  

For the same period, it reported an operating profit of £895,000 (FY2021 £996,000).   

The drop in turnover was mainly due to “secured work being delayed following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which has caused issues mobilising new contracts from new and existing frameworks”.   

Its gross profit margin also took a hit due to “uncontrollable resource inflation felt across all elements of the construction supply chain”.   

“R&W is an organisation that we had identified in our acquisition strategy some time ago as a great fit both culturally and in terms of their complimentary capability,” said John Dowsett, Octavius CEO. 

“Securing this acquisition supports our ambitious growth plans to become a market leading transport infrastructure provider. Whilst we would clearly like to have taken over the business in different circumstances, we are delighted to be able to step in to support existing customers and protect people’s livelihoods.” 

Dowsett added: “The combined offering of Octavius and R&W has the capability to both self-deliver and integrate an SME supply chain to deliver a broad range of highway and civils projects for a variety of customers; from small reactive responses to large major projects, regionally and nationally, safely delivering these with a consistent collaborative approach that is underpinned by our aligned core values.” 

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