Imtech forced into cash call as writedowns on projects treble

 
City A.M. Reporter
DUTCH engineering company Imtech has tripled project writedowns, forcing it to make an emergency cash call and bring forward the appointment of a new chief executive to deal with the crisis.

Imtech, whose business spans electrical and mechanical engineering and information technology, surprised investors three weeks ago with an investigation into possible irregularities at its Polish projects and a €100m (£86.7m) writedown.

Yesterday the company raised that figure to €150m and said it was taking another €150m to cover problems in Germany.

Chief executive Gerard van de Aast, who has taken over a month ahead of schedule, said the full costs will not be clear until an investigation into activities in the two countries is complete.

Imtech yesterday announced a €500m rights issue to bolster its balance sheet and said it will not pay a dividend for 2012, and possibly longer, and will postpone possible acquisitions until 2015.

Imtech shares plunged an initial 15 per cent, triggering a temporary suspension, and closed the day 11 per cent lower.

Van de Aast, who was recruited from outside Imtech, has replaced Rene van der Bruggen who retired.

Imtech’s group chief financial officer, Boudewijn Gerner, and two top executives for its German operations, which were responsible for the Polish business, have stepped down.

Two directors at Imtech’s Polish business have been suspended.

The CEO, who joined Imtech at the start of the year, said he had not discovered similar problems in other countries in an initial review.