Bank buyout saves Mouchel

By Helen Wright28 August 2012

The assets of UK contractor Mouchel have been acquired by its management and its lenders - banks RBS, Lloyds and Barclays - in order to secure the future of the business.

Mouchel has now been incorporated into a new, de-listed company, MRBL, after its shareholders rejected an alternative restructuring plan that would have seen its lenders swap £87 million (€109 million) of existing debt for a majority stake in the company.

The first proposal would have seen Mouchel's shareholders offered a special dividend 1p (€0.1) per share, but the new arrangement means that the shareholders will receive nothing once the company has been delisted.

Chairman of Mouchel David Shearer said it was unfortunate that the shareholders chose not to approve the original restructuring plan.

The new structure means that Mouchel's subsidiaries can continue to trade as usual and the company, which targets public infrastructure and general construction projects, can pursue new contracts.

Beleaguered Mouchel suffered a torrid 2011 during which it rejected takeover offers from rivals, saw its CEO resign after a costly accounting blunder and recorded gross losses of £65 million (€76 million).

The contractor appointed turnaround specialist David Shearer as chairman in January this year. He worked with the company's new chief executive Grant Rumbles and its finance director Rod Harris on the restructuring plan.

Mr Rumbles said, "The completion of this restructuring means that the long-term future of this business is secure and the jobs of more than 8,000 people have been preserved. We now have the right capital structure to take Mouchel forward. For our clients and suppliers it is business as usual."

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