A MAJOR independent housebuilder has appointed administrators with more than 200 employees being made redundant on an online call with bosses.

Stewart Milne Group, based in Aberdeen, has around 35 active sites across Scotland with offices also in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Teneo Financial Advisory Limited are reported to have been appointed as joint administrators with the group.

Around 217 employees have been made redundant with some looking for new roles within the construction industry.

Staff were invited to an online call on Monday afternoon and were informed of the decision.

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They were told they would not be paid from the week before Christmas or for work completed on Monday. They are paid on a week-by-week basis.

Stewart Milne, founder of the group (below), said in a statement: “I am devastated by this totally unexpected outcome of the sale process and struggling to accept it, given the profound impact it will have on employees, sub-contractors, suppliers and customers.

“Stewart Milne Group was up for sale and, following significant interest, two bids were submitted. The bank has not accepted either bid and withdrawn its funding which left the directors with no option but to appoint administrators.

“I tried everything I could to find a way to achieve a better outcome for the business and the people who depend on it. I believe one of the bids could have delivered a comparable, financial return to administration and, crucially, allowed the business to continue to operate, safe-guarding hundreds of jobs and protecting livelihoods.”

The National: Stewart Milne.

Teneo said that 112 employees were being retained across the group.

Adele MacLeod of Teneo said: “The downturn in the UK housing market combined with an extensive sales process not resulting in any viable offers has ultimately led to the need for the directors to place Stewart Milne Group Limited and some of its subsidiaries into administration, regretfully with some immediate redundancies.

“We continue to assess all the options in respect of the group’s Scottish development sites and encourage any party with an interest to get in touch.”

The firm's development sites in North West England are held by Stewart Milne Homes North West England (Developments) Ltd, which has a separate funding structure and has not been placed into administration.

The entities in administration are: Stewart Milne Homes Central Scotland Limited, Stewart Milne Homes Central Scotland (Developments) Limited, Stewart Milne Homes (Arbroath) Limited, Stewart Milne Homes (Auchterarder) Limited, and Stewart Milne Homes (Kirkston) Limited.