The Scottish Coal Company Limited (in Provisional Liquidation)

The Scottish Coal Company Limited

With a history dating back to 1994 following the privatisation of British Coal, Scottish Coal operates six open cast coal mines in Scotland, located in East Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire and Fife.

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Blair Nimmo and Tony Friar, of KPMG, were appointed Joint Provisional Liquidators of ‘The Scottish Coal Company Limited’ (“Scottish Coal”) on 19 April 2013 by the Court of Session in Edinburgh at the request of the company’s directors. Scottish Coal is the main trading subsidiary of Scottish Resources Group Limited.

A fellow subsidiary company, Castlebridge Plant Limited (“CPL”), was also placed into administration at the same time, with Blair Nimmo and Tony Friar appointed Joint Administrators.

With a history dating back to 1994 following the privatisation of British Coal, Scottish Coal operates six open cast coal mines in Scotland, located in East Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire and Fife. Together with the plant operator, CPL, the business employed a total of 732 people.

Scottish Coal has been suffering from well publicised difficulties. A combination of falling coal prices, rising operational costs (particularly fuel) and a number of Scottish Coal sites exhausting their reserves has contributed to trading losses and significant cash flow pressures. Despite significant efforts in recent months, the company was unable to secure the level of investment required to enable the business to continue. 

Approximately 450 staff were placed on notice of redundancy on 7 March 2013 as the company sought to restructure its activities. Immediately following today’s insolvency appointment, 590 employees were made redundant and all operations have ceased with immediate effect. The remaining 142 employees have been retained to assist in securing the sites while the Joint Provisional Liquidators explore how best to maximise returns from the assets of the business, principally the sites, plant and stocks.

Blair Nimmo, Joint Provisional Liquidator and Head of Restructuring at KPMG in Scotland said: “In light of Scottish Coal’s poor trading and financial position, we have had to cease trading with immediate effect.

“It is extremely regrettable that we have had to make so many redundancies but have been left with no other option.

“We would like to thank staff for their co-operation through this difficult process. We will be working with the employees and the relevant Government agencies to ensure that the full range of support is available to all those affected.

“We will be looking to secure the sale of certain sites as well as the company’s key assets in the coming weeks. It is still possible that mining operations will continue and offer future employment prospects for at least some of the people who have lost their jobs today.”

Any parties with an interest in acquiring the business and assets should contact Blair Nimmo in KPMG’s Edinburgh office on 0131 222 2000 or in writing at:

Saltire Court

20 Castle Terrace Edinburgh 



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About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 11,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.7 billion in the year ended September 2011. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have 145,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. KPMG International provides no client services.

This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.

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