Mivan to continue trading following administrator’s appointment

Merger talks with Lagan failed

Construction and engineering group Mivan will continue to trade following the appointment yesterday of Peter Allen of Deloitte as administrator.

The Antrim-based company appointed Mr Allen after failing to reach agreement on a merger with Lagan Group, with which it had been in talks since late last year.

In a statement, the administrator said that the company would continue to trade, with the backing of its bank, “while all options are assessed”.

Mivan has worked on a series of high-profile projects outside Ireland, including the construction of the Euro Disney theme park in Paris, re-roofing the historic Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem and refurbishing luxury liner, the QE2.

The business, which employs 289 people, has suffered during the recession and had to be restructured in 2012. Last year, it emerged that it was discussing a possible deal with Lagan Group, although neither party commented on this. Chief executive and founder Dr Ivan McCabrey said directors sought the protection of administration yesterday to “preserve the future options of the business”.

He acknowledged that while the global market for specialist construction and fit-out is recovering, competition is tough and pressure on margins and liquidity favours big international players.