Published on 28 - May - 2012
Business as usual for Hastie UK as Australian parent collapses
AUSTRALIA: Hastie companies in the UK and Ireland will continue to trade as normal despite the collapse of its Australian parent on Monday.
The Sydney based Hastie Group, Australia's largest air conditioning and refrigeration contractor, entered voluntary administration with reports of debts as high as AUS$500m (£312m).
The company has operations operations in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland and the Middle East. The UK and Ireland divisions are profitable stand-alone operations and will continue to trade as normal as attempts are made to sell them as going concerns, according to the administrators PPB Advisory.
The UK businesses comprise mechanical and electrical installation and maintenance services provider C A Sothers, the Rotary Group, a multi-national integrated mechanical and electrical building services provider and North Sea Ventilation, a supplier of heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment and systems to the oil and gas industries.
The Hastie Group began trading as a draper's business in Swansea in the 1800s, later adding other services such as insulation contracting, sheet-metal fabrication and air conditioning installation.
In 1970, the Australian subsidiary of Hastie Group was formed in Sydney, becoming a wholly-owned Australian company in 1994. In 2001, Hastie expanded into the design & construct market acquiring air conditioning installation and maintenance companies across Australia including Optimus, Trilogy Maintenance Services, Direct Engineering Services, Frigrite Air Conditioning, Palmer Air Conditioning and D&E Air Conditioning.
In 2004 Hastie entered the refrigeration business with the acquisition of a number of Australian refrigeration businesses including Austral Refrigeration, Cowley Refrigeration, QAL Refrigeration and Hastie Refrigeration Service. It added industrial refrigeration company Gordon Brothers Industries in 2006.
On administration, the company had around 7,000 employees, including 4,000 in Australia.
Last week, the Hastie Group reported that it had discovered "accounting irregularities" of around AUS$20m (£12.5m) in respect of its Services Group - Northern Region business.
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