Work slumps at Mouchel as bidding war hits order book

Grant Prior 12 years ago
Share

Failed bids by Costain and Interserve to takeover Mouchel have hit the consultant’s ability to win new work.

The contracting giants both tried to buy Mouchel earlier this year but were rebuffed by the consultant’s board who believed offers of £175m undervalued the firm.

Mouchel confirmed in a gloomy trading statement to the City today that the takeover battle had hampered its ability to win new work leading to a fall in the order book to £1.5bn from £1.9bn last year.

The firm said: “The overall level of bidding activity has been lower than in previous periods and our ability to secure new orders was adversely impacted by the Offer Period which ran from December 2010 to April 2011.”

Local authority work has been hit hard by spending cuts in the education and road building sectors but highways maintenance work is holding up.

Mouchel is down to a shortlist of two in a joint venture with Carillion for the Sheffield PFI highways maintenance contract which could be worth £2bn over 25 years.

Mouchel said: “The short-term outlook for the Group continues to be very challenging and is heavily influenced by the steps the Coalition government is taking to rapidly bring down the deficit in public spending.

“Local government, which makes up more than two-thirds of our client base, has been particularly hard hit by the unexpected speed and depth of these cuts.

“We do not anticipate a significant improvement in trading conditions in the short-term.”

Mouchel has cut 1,000 staff during the last year as it closed more than 14 offices.

A new finance director was also unveiled by the firm today as Rod Harris succeeded David Tilston who joined last September to oversee new banking facilities for the group.

Harris was previously finance director of Carillion Business Services for seven years.

A Mouchel statement said: ” David joined the board in September last year with a very clear priority to renegotiate Mouchel’s banking facilities and to strengthen the group’s financial management and operations.

“New facilities were agreed in January, well ahead of the original timetable and David has materially enhanced Mouchel’s operations and organisation since his appointment.

“Accordingly, the board and David have been discussing succession plans to see the group through to the next level of its development and have decided that this is an appropriate time to implement those arrangements.”

Richard Cuthbert, chief executive, added: “The Board is very grateful for David’s contribution and we wish him every success with his next assignment.

“I’m delighted that Rod has accepted this role. He knows Mouchel well and has already made a significant contribution to the business. I’m confident he will play a leading role as we continue to shape the business for the future.”

Latest news

Winners named for Government £10bn offsite framework

29 firms secure places on mega framework for schools, healthcare, defence and justice jobs
7 hours ago

ISG, Amey and Costain now industry’s quickest payers – list

Average payment times from main contractors slip by a day
1 day ago

Staff at Outco Surfacing start looking for new jobs

Administration notice filed two years after acquisition of NMC Group
7 hours ago

£4.75m building work provision tips Higgins into the red

Partnerships business counts cost of changes to building safety rules
6 hours ago

John F Hunt snaps up London temporary works design firm

Demolition contractor buys geotechnical and structural engineering design specialist RKD Consultant
6 hours ago

Vital Energi lands £13m package at Plumstead regen site

Specialist will start on site this summer helping to transform the former home of Arsenal FC
6 hours ago

Galliford Try to start £14m Scunthorpe Market scheme

Firm will build NHS staff accommodation and offices in two phases
7 hours ago

Vast £500m British Library expansion go-ahead

London Mayor still needs to give final nod to 800,000 sq ft extension at St Pancras site in London
1 day ago

Wates names new chief executive

Cork-born Eoghan O’Lionaird to join later this month
1 day ago

Keltbray director joins Barhale as North East chief

Mark Wood heads operations in Yorkshire and North East England
1 day ago

Major London City building green deep retrofit approved

St Bride’s Tavern near Fleet Street will be demolished for the building expansion
1 day ago

Gilbert Ash lands starring role in £38m Welsh theatre revamp

Contractor to start work this year on Theatr Clwyd upgrade
1 day ago

Property clients to ramp up spending on decarbonising

Survey reveals nearly half of property chiefs plan to speed up spending on net-zero programmes over next twelve months
1 day ago

Average self employed labour rates top £1,000 a week

Average weekly earnings reach high for skilled trades
2 days ago

BAM wins £49m Harrogate Convention Centre revamp

Local council hopes to sanction work start this autumn
2 days ago

Renaker to top-out Manchester with 71-storey skyscraper

Developer lifts the lid on planned five-building cluster for phase 3 of Great Jackson Street development
3 days ago

Costain bridge lift delayed by ground conditions

National Highways chiefs postpone planned lifting operation
2 days ago

Nexus sells utilities and EV contracting arms for £78m

Group to now focus on remaining business at south east housing civils contractor Tamdown
2 days ago

Speller Metcalfe lands lead role on £40m Tamworth revamp

Town centre to be transformed under ambitious plans
2 days ago

Scaffold boss banned over covid loan abuse

Eleven-year director ban after misuse of £50,000 loan
3 days ago

Gove issues six weeks ultimatum to sign building safety contract

Developers told to sign Government contract issued today or be banned from building homes
3 days ago

Firm fined £120,000 for lifting two builders in a telehandler bucket

Rochdale builder Hoyle Developments fined after repeated safety breaches
6 days ago

Hunt quashes reports HS2 will stop at Old Oak Common

Chancellor says no "conceivable circumstance" where HS2 would not terminate in Central London
5 days ago

London Chiswick roundabout 24-storey tower approved

Plan for 255 flats and offices finally passed after four previous schemes failed to proceed
3 days ago

Construction forecast to fall by nearly 5% this year

Private new build housing and RM&I to drive fall but infrastructure growth will also slow
3 days ago

Mace wins green office block at famous Fleet Street pub site

Contractor to build new 12-storey block pioneering latest sustainable construction methods
3 days ago

Firms readied for raft of net zero and building safety frameworks

Procurement specialist LHC to tender five mission zero retrofit and building compliance deals
6 days ago

Plans in for two Derby city centre schemes of 1300 homes

Eagle Quarter and Bradshaw Way schemes to breathe life into Derbion centre area
6 days ago

United Living names new infrastructure services MD

Former SSE Contracting operations director John Farrell joins multi-service contractor
6 days ago

Sunak promises Bill to build £100m Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial Bill will update historic legislation allow the building of a new memorial in London
6 days ago

Contractor services