Local contractor bankrupt

| 21/07/2010

(CNS): Following more than four decades building in the Cayman Islands, general contractor Hadsphaltic Ltd has been forced to close down after its parent company went into voluntary liquidation. Liquidators are now dealing with the local construction firm responsible for a number of well known locations in Grand Cayman, from the West Wind Building on the West Bay Road to Papagallo Restaurant (left) near Barkers. Chris Johnson and Russell Smith of Johnson Smith Associates Ltd, local insolvency practitioners, have now been appointed as the liquidators in Cayman and they are currently investigating the firm’s assets as well as examining creditors’ claims and dealing with local staff.

The firm employed around 22 people in the Cayman Islands who have now been released from their jobs and the landlord has also locked the doors at the firm’s offices in the Marquee Plaza.
Hadsphaltic was working on the Mosquito Control and Research Unit’s new hanger at Owen Roberts International Airport and a large private residence at Vista del Mar but had recently stopped work at both sites. The Caymanian Compass reported last week that the firm’s parent company, Johnston International in Turks and Caicos, had said this was a temporary situation while the company underwent some reorganisation. However, it is now apparent that the local firm will not be returning to the site and that the company is insolvent.
Chris Johnson says that the liquidators will be selling all the plant and equipment as well as realising other assets owned by the company.
“We are now interested in hearing from anyone wanting to buy the heavy equipment to help us raise funds to pay creditors,” Johnson told CNS. “We are also keen to hear from anyone who has a claim against the firm, including workers or contractors who have not been paid or that have outstanding claims.”
Johnson also said that early investigations have revealed that Hadsphaltic is owed a large amount of money by a local developer as well as a considerable amount of money by its parent company and if it these can be realized, together with the sale of the fixed assets, the liquidators may be able to pay local creditors most of what they are owed. However, he stated that this would be highly unlikely and creditors should not be optimistic, primarily because he felt that any recovery from the parent would be minimal.
To make matter worse, according to the Turks & Caicos Weekly News workers there are owed as much as $2.5 million in wages, bonuses and benefits.
The problems started for Hadsphaltic a few weeks ago when Johnston International was placed into receivership by British Caribbean Bank Ltd in Turks and Caicos.
According to local media reports, the Turks and Caicos firm built former Premier Michael Misick’s multi-million dollar home and was involved in a controversial hospital project at $124 million in which only two 30 bed hospitals were ever completed. The firm was also embroiled in an environmental controversy regarding significant reef damage on the islands as a result of what was said to be illegal dredging. It is also believed that staff in T&C were given no warning that the firm was in any real financial trouble.
Hadsphaltic, which began operating in the Cayman Islands in 1966, and was owned by a British family until it and the group of companies were sold to the billionaire peer Lord Michael Ashcroft, who then sold the firm in a management buyout. The bank that lent the money to the group to purchase the firm was British Caribbean Bank Ltd, which was also owned by Ashcroft.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    The article states that hadsphaltic is owed a sum of money by the parent company. Is it ethical for a "cayman company" to send money overseas & not to receive it back.?This results in staff & local business owners to suffer at the hands of overseas directors.

  2. Anonymous says:

     On a tiny little island like Cayman, one must expect that there will be some companies who fail.  This is not the first and it won’t be the last.  Cayman in general is living way beyond reality. Cayman has reach its "peak"; now comes the decline.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So who is the local developer that owes them lot’s of money?  CNS?  Anybody?

  4. Campaign Against Unnecessary Americanisation says:

    CNS please stop this unnecessary American creep.  Companies do not go bankrupt in Cayman.  Companies go into liquidation, only individuals go bankrupt.

  5. anonymous says:

    This may be the tip of the iceberg for such companies in Cayman, especially if we do not stop criticizing development, saying we do not need any more. We have to wake up here. This is how our economy works.

    CNS should do an FOI on something like the lost of T&B licenses and work permits in this industry and such instead of some of the recent FOI requests that do not really do anything but try to stir exciting headlines.

    The Caymanian needs to know what is really happening here rather than this UDP/PPM nonsense and more importantly we need to all push TOGETHER to make this country work. I recognize this post will get thumbs down from both UDP and PPM but sobe it. We have to stop this back and forth nonsense. look around the Caribbean and see what is happening and recognize that we can easily weather this slump if we stay together. We have a unique set of conditions here that does not occur anywhere else in the world…let get on with it!

    • Anonymous says:

      Could you please explain the ‘unique set of conditions’?

      • Alan Nivia says:

        Because Cayman is different.  Don’t ask questions.  If you ask questions you don’t understand Cayman’s special "history" and "heritage".

    • pauly cicero says:

      We are as unique as the rest of the caribbean.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe you should be the one who wakes up. You boost that Cayman has unique set of conditions here that do not occur anywhere else in the world well if you’re so unique stop all the talk and let’s get to it. All I ever see in this country these days in everyone pointing their fingers at the next and teaching our young children that we are better than this country and the next country what ever happened to the days when we would spend more time teaching our children about God and how we were all created equal I truly miss those days. We all need to wake up and take responsibility for our own actions rather than pointing the finger at someone else. It’s not about what that one did and what the other did not do this is our country and yes we have a unique conditions so let’s stop all the talk and put those unique ways to work.

  6. whodatis says:

    Perspective people … perspective.

    Contracting companies the world over are going into liquidation on a daily basis … this one is NOT a UDP or PPM issue – not even a Cayman issue for that matter.

    In any event, my heartgoes out to the people affected – and all other construction industry related professionals – things are rough out there right now.

    Stay up fellas!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Just a correction, the West Wind Building is not on West Bay Road. It was what is now the Landmark Building on the downtown waterfront. 

    Time was. So long Hadsphaltic.   

    • Real Tea says:

       I believe you mean the Flagship Building.  The Landmark Building is the old Cayman Arms on Harbour Drive and Cardinal Ave…

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is a very sad day for our country, as this has been a well established Company and now to hear this, it only makes me realise how far gone we are.  I know  now there is no getting out of this mess, especially with the way this present Government is not trying to solve our economic situation but sending us further and further down into the path of destruction.

    • Anonymous says:

      My goodness man, have a bit of optimism. The sky isn’t falling, just the colour of it is changing! Lighten up lad.

    • anonymous says:

      Hope this poster also realizes that the immediate past government did as much to create this situation by starting $280M worth of government projects without funding in place. The well received roads are still not paid for!! Also you must realize that our governments for the last 20 years have led us down thisdebt road and of course you must realize that Caymanians have been asking our government for more and more over those same years, happy for a hand out rather than a honest days work. Yes I am Caymanian and think this crab in a barrel mentality in this post is not helping our people. Do realize that there are more silent PPM posters on CNS than UDP and Independents but lets get over it.

      The solution here is to work together rather than this PPM/UDP stupidity. Why should we go down the Political party chasm when we can see what it has done across the Caribbean? Cayman was really built when Independents were in Government, and while they ensured their businesses did well, they made logical and good decision for all. They did not object for objection sake. If they did not agree they said so…if they agreed they said so. Debates in the house were worth listening to.

      posts such as the above does not contribute to anything. hope you were not supposed to be at work when you made this.

  9. Man says:

    Global recession fall out. The Government projects may slow this; however, we have to decide how much of our “norm” we are willing to give up for economic recovery.

    • Anonymous says:

      Vey sad, but this is just "PROPHECY BEING FULFILLED". Let us all think about it, the worst is yet to come, we all need to be prepared.