C & G Concrete Ltd was founded in 1958.
On Thursday 12th May 2011 the London Gazette advertised a Winding Up Petition from Castle Cement Ltd (Hanson Cement) against C & G Concrete Ltd, which was a large user of cement. At that time, Hanson Group was a 23.5% shareholder in my family firm C & G, which made their action in serving a Winding up Petition incomprehensible.
Hanson has said it had not intended to advertise their Winding Up Petition, and had instructed that it not be advertised.
Hanson has said it was as surprised as C & G when it was discovered the next day (Friday 13th May) that the advertisement had been published by London Gazette.
The Board of C & G, which included two senior Hanson appointees, requested its banker to place C & G into insolvency protection by appointing Administrators, which was done.
The insolvency of C & G resulted from the cessation of normal trade credit because of the London Gazette’s accepted error in printing the advertisement. C & G ceased to accept any deliveries of goods supplied on credit shortly after learning that the advertisement had been published.
C & G had good stocks of the key consumables, fuel and cement. It had its own large stock of sand and gravel aggregates at its own quarry which continued to operate. Thus C & G was able to continue to trade in the normal way without redundancies, under the direction of the Administrators.
The Administrators set about opening their new credit accounts for supplies, so the business could continue as a going concern into the future. The existing C & G team continued seeking new business and supplying customers, who were quite remarkably supportive. At the time, C & G held a Lincolnshire market share of 38-40% for ready mixed concrete, a near 100% market share of trowel ready mortar, and a large market share of aggregates.
Traditionally, Hanson supplied the southern plants of C & G with cement from Ketton, whilst Cemex supplied the northern plants from South Ferriby, South Humberside.
Unexpectedly, Hanson Cement declined to supply cement to the Administrators, as did Cemex Cement. Normally it is considered that to supply goods and services to a Administrator is a risk fee undertaking. These actions by Hanson and Cemex were incomprehensible.
C & G was by now in danger of running out of stocks of cement, which was needed at the rate of 150 – 200 tonnes per working day. Had C & G run out of cement: