Mouchel shores up finances

By Sandy Guthrie27 January 2011

The UK's Mouchel, currently a takeover target for Costain, has undergone a process to refinance its bank arrangements, and has agreed total facilities of £ 170 m (€ 197,5 million) that extend to 31 March, 2014.

Richard Cuthbert, chief executive of London-based support services group Mouchel, said, "It provides the Group with stability and ensures that we can continue to compete successfully in our chosen markets."

Mouchel has resisted three offers from UK engineering and construction company Costain - the latest on 21 January.

That revised offer valued Mouchel at over £ 170 million, and proposed paying approximately 153,2p for each share.

But Mouchel's response to Costain's 21 January approach was less than enthusiastic. It indicated that Costain was not alone in approaching the group since its first offer was made public in early December, saying it was actively reviewing these and other options.

It also pointed then to its plans for refinancing, which it said could bear fruit earlier than its previous estimates of its interim results at the end of March.

And now Mouchel has said that with the support of the Group's relationship banks - Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and RBS - it has signed new medium-term facilities two months earlier than originally expected.

Under the terms of this refinancing, Mouchel has agreed total facilities of £ 170 m that extend to 31 March, 2014.

Mr Cuthbert said, "The completion of this refinancing is an important turning point for Mouchel.

"Although we are still operating in challenging conditions, the fundamentals of our business and long-term opportunities for the Group remain strong."

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