Future uncertain for Portarlington jobs

Portarlington construction company Siac Butlers Steel Ltd has been placed in examinership, leaving the future unsure for its ten employees.

Portarlington construction company Siac Butlers Steel Ltd has been placed in examinership, leaving the future unsure for its ten employees.

Last Wednesday October 24 parent company Siac Construction Ltd (SCL) successfully applied to the High Court for an interim examiner, who will oversee restructuring attempts to save the cash strapped group, who owe €42 million to their lender banks.

Since 2008, SCL’s turnover fell from €265 million to €113 million. Difficulties mainly arose over Polish road projects where Siac is taking legal action to recover €113 million.

“This comes as a result of difficulties facing the company following exposure on a large road project in Poland and increasing uncertainty over the payment for works done on projects in Ireland,” SCL said.

They say their 100 year history in Ireland shows them capable of operating as a going concern during restructuring, and expect economic growth and bank support to boost their recovery.

“The decision to enter examinership is in order to effectively manage these difficulties and secure the long-term future of the firm. SCL is confident that the company has a viable future post-restructuring.”

The late Paddy Butler started the company on the Lea road in the 1960’s, building it up from a an office in a caravan to having at one stage nearly 200 employees. .

Cllr Ray Cribbin is hopeful the Portarlington company will be saved.

“Butlers was a very good company to work for, and is still very good for the town. I would like to see it in full production again and soon. Every job is precious,” he said.

The Port company is one of nine in the Siac group, employing about 250 staff.