Shares in struggling infrastructure firm Carillion fell sharply on Friday following reports that lenders had rejected its survival plan and that it had lined up a possible administrator.
The firm is a major contractor in road and rail projects, including HS2 and if it were to collapse it would have major implications across the public sector.
The Telegraph reported on Friday afternoon that shares had at one point fallen by more than 35% on the news and were down 20.5% over the day.
The firm held talks with its lenders on Wednesday, presenting its business plan in a bid to agree a new refinancing deal.
Quoting a Press Association report, the Telegraph said Carillion's lenders had rejected the plan because it did not present enough of a restructuring plan for the business.
Sky News reported that Carillion had put accountancy firm EY on standby to oversee an administration if it is unable to achieve this.
It was also reported that a meeting with The Pensions Regulator was taking place on Friday to shore up the future of Carillion’s pension scheme, whose deficit is said to stand at around £580m.
A spokesman for The Pensions Regulator said: ‘We have been and remain closely involved in discussions with Carillion and the trustees of the pension schemes as this situation has unfolded.’
The firm announced last week that is being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in connection with statements it made prior a profit warning and the removal of its then chief executive last year.
In a separate statement before Christmas, Carillion announced that Andrew Davies would take up the permanent role of chief executive with effect from 22 January. He had been due to start in April.