Bosses and banks buy Mouchel out of administration

Aaron Morby 12 years ago
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The management team and the main lenders to Mouchel have bought the firm out of administration saving the jobs of 8,000 staff.

The consultant was temporarily placed into administration last Friday after disgruntled shareholders rejected a rescue deal.

But Mouchel was immediately sold in a “pre-pack” deal to MRBL Limited – a newly incorporated company owned by lenders RBS, Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays and the group’s management team.

The deal means that all of the group’s trading subsidiaries will continue to trade with no interruption to their businesses.

No other company in the group will enter administration and suppliers, customers and employees are not expected to be materially affected.

Richard Heis, joint administrator and partner at KPMG, said: “A fall in profitability meant that the business could no longer service its debt facilities.

“Restructuring the balance sheet in order to reduce the debt and secure ongoing funding was essential to secure the future of the business.

“Following the rejection by shareholders of the company’s proposed restructuring plan, the sale via “pre pack” was required to provide the business with as much stability as possible by quickly securing a new owner and finance for the business.

“It has ensured continuity for the business’ subsidiaries, their suppliers, customers and 8,000 employees, whilst enabling the business to restructure, putting it on a stable footing for the future.”

Under the original restructuring proposal thrashed out between management and banks earlier this month Mouchel’s shareholders were to receive a special dividend of 1 pence per share.

The plan needed approval from 75% of shareholders, but the management only achieved 70%. Just one in five shareholders voted.

Early last year Mouchel’s board turned down takeover offers from rivals Costain and Interserve for around 153p a share, saying the £170m offers significantly undervalued the company.

Six months later the then chairman and chief executive resigned as the extent of Mouchel’s financial woes became apparent.

 

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