Hightex is first loser in World Cup

Problems in Brazil, where it built the roof of Rio’s Maracana stadium, pushed Hightex deeper into the red

The company behind the roof of Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium, which is due to stage the World Cup’s first match, blamed problems with its Brazilian joint-venture partner for widening losses yesterday.

London-listed Hightex, which specialises in cable-supported membrane roofs for stadia, won contracts for three World Cup venues along with its local partner Sepa Hightex Coberturas.

But the company in effect put itself up for sale yesterday as its directors admitted that a stronger balance sheet would be needed to help it bid for further contracts.

Hightex claims problems getting payments from the Brazilian joint-venture company pushed it into pre-tax losses of €2.8m (£2.3m) for 2013, forcing it to sell half of a subsidiary and raising a loan of up to $10m (£6m) to cover running costs, of which $1.8m has been drawn down.

It said: “One specific solution for Hightex might be to identify a partner with the appropriate financial strength that would complement the well-recognised, innovative construction engineering skills for which the company is renowned.”

The World Cup final to be staged at the Maracana will be the third played under a Hightex roof after previous work on Berlin’s Olympia-stadion in 2006 and Soccer City in Johannesburg in 2010.