Kier Group offloads Mouchel Consulting to WSP Global in £75m deal

Francesca Washtell
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Kier's takeover of Mouchel boosted its position as one of the UK's leading highway maintenance groups

London-listed construction firm Kier Group has sold Mouchel Consulting to Canada-based WSP Global for £75m.

FTSE 250-listed Kier acquired the engineering, environment and asset management consulting branch as part of its £265m takeover of infrastructure company Mouchel last year.

The tie-up put Kier in control of around a third of the UK's road network and boosted its role as a leading highways maintenance and management provider.

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Mouchel Consulting reported revenue of £125m and profit before tax of £5m in the year ended 30 June, while the company's gross assets were worth £29m.

The sell-off will net Kier an immediate profit of around £40m, the group said today in a statement, which will be put towards future investment opportunities and reducing its net debt.

In July, the company said its net debt position at the end of the financial year stood at £140m, ahead of the forecast range of £150m to £170m.

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WSP is a management and consultancy group that specialises in the built and natural environment.

Kier's chief executive Haydn Mursell 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.

Shares in the company were trading down 0.6 per cent in the early afternoon to 1,350p.

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