The priority for Quintain Estates and Development is survival. The group, which has construction projects around Wembley Stadium and the Greenwich Peninsula, said that it was experiencing the most difficult conditions, as it reported a 28% fall in net asset value and a big first-half loss.

Its big London regeneration projects at Wembley and Greenwich were written down in value by 30%.

Quintain was worth £1.25bn at its peak last year. It is worth just £48m today. The falls in valuation increased Quintain's gearing from 60% to 90% in the six months to September 30. The company said that it still had headroom as its banking covenant is 110%, implying a cushion of £127m.

The Times