Tuesday 19 March 2019 7:57 am

Former Carillion man takes the reins at embattled Kier Group

The man who was once named the new leader of Carillion has taken the reins at Kier Group, the construction firm confirmed this morning.

Andrew Davies, appointed Carillion’s new chief executive just months before it went out of business, will take up his new role form 15 April, Kier said.

Read more: Embattled outsourcer Kier's net debt spirals again after 'accounting error'

The 28-year veteran of BAE Systems, who never managed to take up the Carillion role before it collapsed, headed up construction firm Wates Group for four years between 2014 and 2018.

Davies said he would try to consolidate Kier’s positions in long-term client relationships and service.

He also promised to bring “a renewed focus on simplifying the group, improving cash flow generation and reducing net debt, whilst maintaining the group’s disciplined approach to risk management”.

Davies faces a tough time at the company, with debts mounting.

In January his predecessor Haydn Mursell was ousted by investor action headed by 15 per cent shareholder Neil Woodford.

Kier’s stock dropped 33 per cent one day in November as the company tried to raise over £264m in an attempt to pay off debts.

Read more: Kier shares rise as it appoints Scottish director

Philip Cox, the chairman who has been running Kier since Mursell stepped down, welcomed Davies to the group.

He said: “Andrew has a strong track record of business leadership and his operational experience across a number of sectors, combined with his strategic approach, make him an excellent fit for Kier.”