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Liquidation of British firm Carillion threatens 6,000 jobs in Canada

One of Britain's biggest contractors collapsed Monday, putting thousands of jobs at risk, after creditors and the government refused to bail out a company struggling under the weight of more than $2.1 billion of debt.
Carillion employs more than 43,000 people in the U.K., Middle East and Canada. (Yui Mok/Associated Press)

British construction and services giant Carillion PLC has gone into liquidation, putting thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of government contracts at risk.

Carillion employs more than 6,000 people in Canada and 43,000 around the world.

In Canada, the company has a stake in several major projects, including:

  • Maintenance and support services for military housing at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Petawawa.
  • Contracts at hospitals including ones in North Battleford, Sask., Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., The Stanton Territorial Hospital in N.W.T, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, The Royal Ottawa Healthcare Group in Ottawa and many more.
  • A major facility maintenance contract with Shell at one of its oilsands operations, along with at an office building in Calgary.

It was not immediately clear what impact the liquidation would have on the Canadian operations. A request for comment by CBC News was not immediately returned.

The company, in a statement released Monday, says it had no choice after weekend talks with creditors and government officials failed to garner the short-term financing it needed. In addition to working on road and rail projects, Carillion provides services to government institutions including prisons and schools.

The company, which employs some 20,000 people in Britain, has been struggling to reorganize amid debts of $1.24 billion and a pension deficit almost as large. Carillion's share price has plunged 70 per cent in the past six months.

Chairman Philip Green says it is "with the deepest regret that we have arrived at this decision."

With files from CBC News

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