RSM Australia Partners Jonathon Colbran, Richard Stone and Mitchell Herrett were today appointed voluntary administrators to PBS construction entities trading in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland (Qld).

PBS is a privately-owned and operated 33-year-old Australian award-winning business that constructs large-scale residential and commercial projects exclusively in three states and territories – the ACT, NSW and Qld. 

Over the past three decades, PBS has evolved from a family-owned Canberra-based building firm into a major construction company that has delivered more than 7,500 residential dwellings and construction projects to the value of $3.6 billion since inception.

RSM Australia Partner Jonathon Colbran said due to the complexity of PBS’s corporate structure, voluntary administration allowed the five impacted companies (see list below) to assess their options and pursue the best course of action for the business, its employees and its creditors. 

“Between them, the five companies, have 80 residential and commercial projects in various stages of construction, from the early design phase through to various stages of construction,’’ Mr Colbran said.

“All work on these sites ceased immediately prior to the appointment of the Administrators and it is not clear at this stage whether works will recommence,” he said.

“If works do not recommence, the operations of the PBS construction companies will progressively be shut down and sites will be handed over to customers.”

Mr Colbran said PBS had become another casualty of the crisis gripping Australia’s construction industry created by the perfect storm of fixed price contracts, record material costs, supply chain challenges, labour shortages and extreme weather events.

“RSM’s initial investigations of the financial statements and records of the PBS construction companies have identified more than 1,000 secured and unsecured creditors. These creditors are owed a total of more than $25 million,’’ he said.

''These are preliminary figures and may change following more detailed investigations over the coming weeks.’’

Mr Colbran said PBS employed more than 180 staff across three states and territories.

“All employees were made redundant on Monday 6 March, prior to the appointment of the Administrators, and all outstanding employee entitlements have been paid in full,’’ he said.

'’Key staff will be asked to remain available to assist the Administrators generally. This will include engaging with customers and creditors and facilitating a handover of remaining contracts and works to customers if construction does not recommence.

‘’The Administrators are taking these steps to ensure the maximum financial return for creditors. This is a key objective of the PBS Board of Directors who are deeply distressed by the dismantling of a business they worked so long and hard to build – backed by the support of their employees and loyalty of their clients – over more than 30 years.”

Mr Colbran said given the size and complexity of PBS’s business operations in three states and territories, the external administration process would take some time.

RSM will write to creditors this week and provide a further detailed report to creditors once further investigations are complete. It is likely that this report will be available in approximately three to four weeks’ time.

Creditors affected by the administration of the PBS construction companies should contact RSM via email at [email protected] or on (02) 6217 0228.

Jonathon Colbran, Richard Stone, and Mitchell Herrett

Joint and Several Administrators

RSM Australia Partners

PBS Building Pty Limited

PBS Building (ACT) Pty Limited

PBS Building (NSW) Pty Limited

PBS Building (QLD) Pty Limited

PBS Management Company Pty Ltd

(All Administrators Appointed)

Collectively trading as PBS Building ACT, NSW and QLD