Kier sells Mouchel Consulting to WSP for £75m

KierKier Group has completed the disposal of its Mouchel Consulting arm to WSP Global Inc. for a total consideration of £75 million in cash.

Acquired in June 2015 as part of Kier’s acquisition of Mouchel Group, Mouchel Consulting provides engineering, environmental and asset management consultancy services, principally to infrastructure markets.

Kier announced in July that it was undertaking an evaluation of the strategic options for the Mouchel Consulting business including a possible disposal.

For the financial year ended 30 June 2016, Mouchel Consulting reported revenue of £125m generating an operating profit contribution of £8m and a profit before tax of £5m. The gross assets of the company, the subject of the disposal, were £29m at 30 June 2016.

Kier said the disposal is expected to result in an immediate profit of approximately £40m. The proceeds will be retained by Kier for future investment purposes and to further reduce debt.

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.”

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.”

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