Hadsphaltic Ltd., a major
construction company in the Cayman Islands for 44 years, has closed its doors
Chris Johnson, the managing
director of Johnson Smith Associates Ltd., confirmed Monday that he and Russell
Smith had been appointed liquidators. The Public Works Department, which had
been acting as project manager for Hadsphaltic’s largest ongoing job, the
Mosquito Research and Control Unit hangar facility, was also notified of the
appointment on Monday morning.
Mr. Johnson said the appointment of
liquidators was not made by the court because the liquidation was voluntary
here, initiated by the Hadsphaltic’s parent company in Turks and Caicos,
Johnston International Limited. Johnston was put in to receivership by the
British Caribbean Bank Limited on 7 July. On Friday, 16 July, the Turks and
Caicos Weekly News reported that the construction company’s workers, many of
them expatriates, had been told to ‘pack and go home’ at their own expense,
even though the company owed some $2.5 million in back wages.
Mr. Johnson said all of
Hadsphaltic’s staff in Cayman would be released and that his firm would be realising
any assets of the company in the Cayman Islands. Mr. Johnson said the locks on
Hadsphaltic’s office doors at the Marquee Place had been locked by the
landlord, but he declined to give further details of the liquidation at this
“We’re on a fact-finding mission
right now,” he said.
Other than the MRCU hangar project,
Hadsphaltic was only working on one other job, a large house in Vista del Mar,
Mr. Johnson said.
After Hadsphaltic abandoned the
MRCU project on 25 June, the company’s group CEO Allan Forrest said the
stoppage was only temporary as the business went through “minor restructuring”.
However, a promised restart to the project did not occur by the next week’s end
and rumours flew in Turks and Caicos that the company was about to collapse.
Hadsphaltic came to the Cayman
Islands in 1966 to work on the airport runway project. Over the years, it
became known as one of the ‘big three’ construction companies along with
McAlpine and Arch & Godfrey. Some of its major projects over the years included
both Holiday Inn hotels, the Hyatt Regency hotel, the Hyatt Beach Suites, the
Westin hotel, the Port Authority Building, the Cayman National Bank Building
and several schools, just to name a few.
The $4.5 million MRCU hangar
project is only about half completed. It is unknown who will complete the
project now that the general contractor has failed.