The Australian engineering firm that was set to build the Auckland City Rail Link’s entire underground network has gone into administration.
RCR Tomlinson – in a joint venture with Opus International – was awarded the contract last month.
At the time – City Rail Link’s chief executive Sean Sweeney said the announcement marked ‘a major milestone for a project that will deliver significant benefits for Auckland’.
The Perth-based company had gained $100 million from its shareholders in an equity-raising in late August and later that month had released audited financial statements to the ASX claiming to have a positive balance sheet.
In a statement to the ASX – RCR said it had appointed administrators McGrathNichol – having entered a trading halt last week.
A director of the investment management company Allan Gray – Simon Mawhinney – said the collapse was astonishing and an absolute disaster for shareholders.
‘We’ve never seen a turnaround like this’ Mr Mawhinney said.
‘After the $100 million they raised they allegedly had $140 million of net cash and a seemingly bullet-proof balance sheet.
‘To go from audited financial statements released to the ASX in August – signed off by the board and their bankers – as well as the positive AGM commentary in October – defies belief.
‘It’s very hard to say what’s happened we have no idea.
Something terrible has happened on the watch of the current board’.
RCR Tomlinson has 3,400 employees – mainly in Australia.