Administrators at failed property services firm Erinaceous made 78 people redundant from the commercial arm last week.

KPMG said today that 78 staff had been made redundant from the professional services and commercial management division, with a further 283 employees saved through business sales which have been or are just about to be completed.

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

Back to the old-school

On the commercial side, firms snapped up by Erinaceous during its three-year period of rapid expansion like 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 Manchester agency giant Dunlop Heywood.

More than 60 staff were saved when Eddisons, 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 the company owed.

Maximise value

Jim Tucker, administrator at KPMG said: ‘Although there have been 546 redundancies across parts of the group, we have worked extremely 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. This has enabled us to maximise the value of the assets under out control and avoid any significant disruption to customers and clients.’

The company is currently working on the sale of Fairoaks Airport, part of which was bought by Erinaceous for £42m. It is thought that it is likely to be bought by Albermarle, the private investor syndicate manager managed by Egan.