Commercial arm employees among redundancies made by administrators

Administrators at failed property services firm Erinaceous made 78 people redundant from the commercial arm last week as part of a wider 546 job cull.

KPMG said on Monday that 78 staff had been made redundant from the professional services and commercial management division (see box) and a further 283 employees had been saved through business sales, which have been or are just about to complete.

Across the group, which also offers residential and insurance services, 546 people were made redundant out of a total of 3,000 staff.

However, Erinaceous’s concept of the property one-stop shop is not quite dead yet. The insurance, residential management and property management divisions of the company were this week sold to banks HBOS, Lloyds TSB and HSBC, and will continue trading as part of a new business called Caley, headed up by existing Erinaceous chief executive Tim Redburn.

In a statement, the banks said: ‘The opportunity to further develop synergies between the insurance and residential businesses and between residential and property maintenance will be actively explored.’

On the commercial side, firms snapped up by Erinaceous during its three-year period of rapid expansion, such as Egan Lawson and Douglas Duff, have completed management buyouts for nominal sums, which allow them to begin trading again under their old names.

However, around 20 staff are thought to have been made redundant from the firm’s Manchester office, which once housed the 170-year-old agency Dunlop Heywood.

More than 170 staff were saved when Eddisons, which was once a takeover target of Erinaceous, snapped up the company’s landlord and tenant, property management and facilities management teams.

The company went into administration after its banks failed to find a solvent solution to paying back more than £250m that the company owed.

Jim Tucker, administrator at KPMG said: ‘Although there have been 546 redundancies across parts of the group, we have worked hard to complete deals that would protect as many employees from this as possible.

As a result more than 2,500 jobs have been saved through sales of various businesses and divisions or keeping key parts of the group outside of the administration process.

Erinaceous job losses

Of the 361-strong professional services and commercial division:

  • 78 made redundant
  • 171 saved in Eddisons’ purchase of property management, facilities management and landlord and tenant teams
  • 44 saved in buyout and
    merger by management of PPH Commercial and Chapel & Co
  • 33 saved in buyout of Milton Keynes and Bedford offices of Douglas Duff by management
  • 23 saved in buyout by management of Egan Lawson
  • seven saved in management buyout of Erinaceous Residential Auctions, relaunched as Harman Healy
  • five saved in buyout of Blacks Property Consultants.

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