Key UK contractor Carillion denies rescue plan in doubt

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But it appeared there was little relief for the company, with the Press Association reporting lenders had dismissed a rescue plan proposed earlier in the week as it failed to present a solid proposition for restructuring the business.

A Government spokeswoman said: "Carillion is a major supplier to the Government with a number of long-term contracts". The company is in crunch talks over its future with ministers and the Pensions Regulator.

A collapse could be damaging as Carillion holds government contracts in the rail industry, education sector and NHS, and employs about 43,000 people across its worldwide business.

Notably, it holds a contract to build part of the forthcoming HS2 high speed railway line and is the second largest supplier of maintenance services to Network Rail.

Carillion share price
Key UK contractor Carillion denies rescue plan in doubt

A government spokeswoman said it has been monitoring the situation to ensure its "contingency plans are robust".

He added that workers "should have protection and guarantees from the government, including an assurance that operations will be directly transferred over to Network Rail with all jobs, pensions and rights safeguarded if Carillion goes bust".

Gail Cartmail, assistant general secretary of trade union Unite, which represents more than 1,000 workers at the company, said the government should consider bringing contracts back in-house.

The government is being urged to bring contracts from Carillion back into public control amid fears the struggling construction giant could "collapse".

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These include a new £745 million Aberdeen bypass and plans to extend platforms at Edinburgh Waverley station to make way for longer electric trains.

The FT reported that Cabinet Office minister David Lidington met more than 10 ministers on Wednesday including business secretary Greg Clark, transport minister Jo Johnson, and chief secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss.

Its share price plummeted 90 per cent after announcing its first profit warning in July a year ago.

The company is a major supplier to the Government, maintaining prisons across the country and managing around 900 schools.

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The company has been working on a plan which it said "will provide the basis for the agreement of a proposal to restore Carillion's balance sheet".

Carillion is holding crisis talks with United Kingdom government representatives on Friday, which Sky News said were aimed at safeguarding the more than 28,000 pension scheme members who face potential cuts to retirement payments should Carillion fail.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We continue to liaise with UK Government colleagues to monitor and mitigate service risks associated with Carillion's financial situation and stand ready to offer what assistance we can at this anxious time for the company's employees and their families".

"We will not comment further unless it becomes appropriate to do so".

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