Pipeline design business latest to go as ailing Mouchel continues asset firesale

MOUCHEL, the struggling infrastructure group, has continued to offload unwanted assets by selling its pipeline design business to Mott MacDonald for up to £3.4m.

Mott MacDonald, a management, engineering and development consultancy, will pay an initial £2.55m for Mouchel Energy, a new business set up for the disposal, which has revenues of £4.7m. Working capital adjustments could increase the value of the deal by up to a further £850,000.

It will make a relatively small dent in Mouchel group’s debt pile, however, which stands at around £87m.

New chief executive Grant Rumbles has said the sales are part of a strategy to focus on Mouchel’s core markets, agreed late last year.

Last week Mouchel sold its rail business to Australia’s Sinclair Knight Merz and City A.M. understands more sales could be agreed over the coming months.

Mouchel has been hit by government spending cuts during a turbulent year.

David Sugden, its interim chairman, quit last week after barely four days in the job when the group’s main lenders indicated he would not get the post on a permanent basis.

Ex-chief executive Richard Cuthbert resigned earlier this month after Mouchel said a statistical error and mounting risks to contracts would cut about 60 per cent from this year’s profits.