Administrators are hopeful of rescuing a prominent North East housebuilder after receiving interest from potential buyers within days of being appointed.
More than 50 jobs are currently at risk at Teesside-based Yuill Homes, which called in a team at Baker Tilly after falling into difficulties.
But Steven Ross and Ian Kings of Baker Tilly are hopeful they can save the 87-year-old company, which is headquartered in Hartlepool but well known for a raft of developments across the region.
The company was originally established in 1927 and bought by Cecil M Yuill Ltd in 1993, and is currently working on a development in Hartlepool, a £1.7m affordable homes scheme in Blaydon, Gateshead , as well as owning a number of sites for future development.
Steven Ross, a restructuring and recovery partner at Baker Tilly in the North East, said: “Yuill Homes is a well known brand in the North East housing market but, due to the high level of debt finance, was placed into administration to protect the value of its assets for the benefit of creditors.
“The company will continue to trade while we seek a buyer for the business on a going concern basis.
“Our immediate priorities are to speak with employees, suppliers and other stakeholders as well as those people who are in the process of buying a new home from the company.”
The administrators were put in place on Wednesday but within hours of news of Yuill Homes’ difficulties filtering out, Baker Tilly were taking calls.
A spokesman said: “We are actively marketing the business and we are already getting interest from buyers.
“There are never any guarantees with these processes but in this case we are hopeful of being able to rescue the business.”
The company has suffered falling income in recent years and in 2012 it recorded an annual loss of £3.4m, down from a profit of £953,128.
The housing boom in 2007 saw the firm post sales of £60.6m, but the downturn saw that slide to £27.8m in 2008. Last year it posted revenue of £22.5m.
Managing director David Mullins said: “The last five years have seen some of the toughest market conditions in the industry and we have done everything possible to avoid this route. However the financial economic climate has left us with little alternative.
“That said, we are hopeful that from this process there will be an emerging business that continues to build on a successful brand that has been in the North East housing market for over 85 years.”
Edward Yuill, managing director of Mowden Park Estates and the associated companies of the Yuill family which sold the housebuilding firm in 2006, added: “We are, of course, disappointed that Yuill Homes has gone into administration – the company was founded by my grandfather, Cecil Yuill, and has been responsible for a sizeable proportion of the region’s housing stock in the intervening years, building up to 1,000 homes every year at its height and employing some 500 skilled personnel.
“In 2006, however, concerned over the future of the housing sector, we sold the entire company to Irish house builder, Taggart Holdings, and have had no commercial interest or responsibility since that date for the company.
“Whilst we therefore regret this news and the consequential effect on individuals and suppliers, we must reiterate that, apart from the name, Yuill Homes has no longer any links to our own business which continues to trade successfully.”