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Garvis Snook returns?

11 April 2011

Garvis Snook, former chief executive of failed social housing repair and construction business Rok, appears to have re-entered the sector with a new start-up firm.


Repair-Rite (UK) was registered at Companies House on 24 February. The firm is based in Exeter at 59 Magdalen Street.

Snook was appointed executive chairman in late March, the Independent on Sunday reported.

No other details about the business are known, despite searching for a company website on the Internet.

Rok fell into administration in November owing more than £200m to unsecured creditors. Most of its 3,800 staff were laid off, including Snook.

FM World reported the month before Rok voluntarily went into administration, Rok announced that it had won a £32m contract with the Scottish Government's economic and community development agency to provide design and construction services for the Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

A business analysis report by FM World said confidence in the FM sector took “another hit earlier this month with the rapid demise of Rok Group, the self-styled “nation’s favourite builder”, which was placed into administration after it became clear its banks were no longer willing to continue funding the business”.

Rok’s fall from grace came quickly, but the pressure had been building, the analysis explained. The company had already warned on profits on more than one occasion this year and anecdotal evidence suggests its suppliers and customers suffered a complete loss of faith in its final weeks when trading fell off a cliff and suppliers tightened up payment terms dramatically.

Snook held shares in the collapsed company in his wife's name and through his pension fund, the Guardian reported in January. The arm's-length arrangements were the reason his stake in the Devon-based builder was not disclosed in a creditors' report released before Christmas.

The suggestion that Snook no longer had any shares in Rok has bemused creditors, since the company had disclosed as recently as the beginning of October that he owned 1,166,887 shares, the Guardian report noted.

“He is understood not to have sold or bought any shares since October. The firm went into administration on 8 November 2010, rendering his stake worthless. His shareholding on 12 October, when the disclosure was made, was worth £250,000. Snook had been building his stake in the months before its collapse, as executives looked to shore up confidence in the building firm.”

Snook’s firm is not related to the Essex-based RepairRite, which operates as a qualified home insurance repairs specialist, one media outlet explained.