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Leach Rhodes Walker to buy itself out after parent company goes into administration

Salford-based Leach Rhodes Walker (LRW) is to buy itself out from its parent company the Erinaceous Group which went into administration this week.

A deal is expected ‘within days’ to rescue the architectural arm of Erinaceous, which collapsed on Monday (14 April) with debts of more than £200 million.

Rumours that the practice was either going to be sold off or be subject to a management buyout (MBO) have been circulating for months (AJ online 01.10.07) and re-emerged recently when the firm took down its Erinaceous sign from the front of its offices.

LRW became the only architectural practice within the behemoth Erinaceous machine, which employed 5,000 people, when it was bought by the self-branded ‘one-stop shop for property support services’ in September 2005.

However, despite claims the takeover would ‘bring significant opportunities for both LRW’s business and its employees’, shares in Erinaceous plummeted by 99 per cent and the architect subsequently began looking at how to extricate itself.

A spokesman for the practice confirmed the MBO was imminent.

He said: ‘LRW is in the final stages of tying up a management buyout. The deal is expected to be complete in the coming days and the clients have been spoken to and given their unanimous backing to the venture.’

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