Almost 300 jobs are threatened after one of Northern Ireland's main construction firms went into administration.

Merger talks at Antrim-based Mivan failed to reach agreement amid intense competition in the global market for specialist fit out and building contracts.

Outfitting the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood and refurbishing the luxury QE2 liner are among prestigious projects the company has been involved in.

Chief executive Dr Ivan McCabrey said while the global market for specialist construction and fit-out was recovering, competition from rivals was intense and pressure on profit margins and cash reserves favoured the largest international companies.

Mivan employs 289 people and is the main trading company created from a restructuring of the group in 2012.

Other previous contracts include re-roofing the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem, work on Disneyland Paris and theme park development for Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

The company was founded in 1975 by Dr McCabrey while he was still an engineering student at Queen's University Belfast.