Kier sells Mouchel Consulting to WSP for £75m

Aaron Morby 8 years ago
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Kier Group has sold its Mouchel Consulting arm to global consultant WSP for £75m in cash.

Kier will use the proceeds to pay down debt, says chief executive Haydn Mursell
Kier will use the proceeds to pay down debt, says chief executive Haydn Mursell

Mouchel Consulting was bought by Kier in June 2015 as part of its £265m acquisition of the Mouchel Group.

Earlier this summer Kier announced it was looking to dispose of the consultancy part of the business, which employs around 2,000 staff, as part of a plan to focus on core business opportunities.

Mouchel Consulting reported £125m revenue generating an operating profit of £8m and a profit before tax of £5m in the year to 30 June 2016. Its gross assets were valued at £29m.

The disposal will generate an immediate profit of £40m for Kier.

WSP’s management estimates that the purchase price is 7.6x adjusted income before interest, tax and depreciation.

Mark Naysmith, managing director for WSP in the UK said: “We are pleased to join forces with Mouchel Consulting, which is recognised as a highly successful firm in the UK, with a particularly strong public sector presence in transportation.

“Our combined expertise across the public and private sectors will enhance our design capabilities, providing greater depth and diversity in related skill sets.

“This will position us as trusted advisors, enabling us to deliver our clients’ projects across the whole life cycle of their projects.

“Together, we will now be a top-tier player for local and national government transportation projects, as well as in local authority markets,” added Naysmith.

The net disposal proceeds will be retained by Kier for future investment purposes and to further reduce debt.

Mouchel Consulting has been involved in many significant infrastructure projects, including the strategic study for the Trans-Pennine Tunnel

Haydn Mursell, chief executive of Kier, said: “Having completed the integration of Mouchel, we are well progressed with the simplification of our portfolio of businesses.

“The disposal of Mouchel Consulting continues this process and provides increased capital to focus on the opportunities across our core businesses which will underpin the group’s future growth.”

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