Struggling contractor Carillion is locked in a £200m row over money owed on a project linked to the development of Qatar in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The cash-strapped firm has not been paid for almost a year for work on a $650m (£493m) contract handed to Carillion and joint venture partner Qatar Building Company in 2011, City A.M. can reveal.
The work forms part of the mammoth $5.5bn Msheireb Downtown redevelopment of central Doha, part of the infrastructure necessary to host the world’s biggest football tournament.
Top Carillion executives have been making monthly trips to Qatar in the hope of persuading Msheireb, backed by the Qatar Foundation, to stump up cash owed for work done.
However, it is understood Msheireb claims Carillion instead owes it a sizeable amount for failing to fulfil contractual obligations. Carillion has previously said it will pull out of Middle-East construction contracts.
The £200m overdue in question is greater than Carillion’s £190m market capitalisation, 80 per cent of which has been wiped away since the start of the year.
The debt is believed to fall into the £845m written off by the firm in July. This suggests recovery of any amount would provide a sizeable boost to the firm’s current financial standing.
Carillion, which employs almost 50,000 globally, has £1.2bn of cash receivables left to collect from its customers, according to its July 2017 balance sheet.
A well-placed source said: “There are outstanding balances that need to be settled by both Msheireb and Carillion. Both companies owe a sum to the other, and discussions are ongoing to reach an agreement over what balances will be paid.”
A spokesperson for Carillion said: “’The contractual positions between Carillion and its customers are commercially confidential.”