New man at Mouchel

By Sandy Guthrie14 October 2011

Grant Rumbles has taken over as Mouchel's chief executive, succeeding Richard Cuthbert who resigned from the company on 6 October after a €5 million accounting error.

UK-based support services group Mouchel overstated its profit figure by £4.3 million (€5 million) in the interim management statement it issued in June.

The company works with government agencies, local authorities, government-regulated industries and the private-sector "to provide safe, reliable roads and railways, well-managed education and civic infrastructure, clean water, and cost-effective energy".

Mr Rumbles joined the board as chief executive on 13 October.

He was formerly CEO of Exova, an international testing, advisory and assurance services' business, from 2008 to 2011. Before that, he was with Serco for 25 years where he held a range of senior management positions, culminating in his last four years as the group COO. He was also a board member of Serco Group.

Mouchel said Mr Rumbles had extensive experience and knowledge of partnering and delivering outsourced services within the UK and internationally, to both public and private sector clients.

The chairman of the board of directors, Bo Lerenius, will stand down from the board and from his role as executive chairman of Mouchel. When he took on the role of executive chairman following the resignation of Mr Cuthbert, Mouchel said it would be until a new chief executive was appointed. David Sugden, non-executive director of Mouchel, will now take over as interim chairman.

Mr Sugden joined the board of Mouchel in January 2011 as a non-executive director. His appointment was part of a process which Mouchel described as strengthening the Mouchel board.

Grant Rumbles said he had spent time with the board discussing the business and its future prospects.

He said, "I believe Mouchel has a strong customer base and dedicated talented staff. Despite recent reductions in UK government spending, the future of government outsourcing both in the UK and overseas is assured and will continue to grow. Mouchel has the expertise and ability to deliver sustainable long term growth in both the public and private sector."

David Sugden said, "In my role as executive chairman, with our new finance director Rod Harris, I will be focused on ensuring Mouchel has a clear strategy and a sound financial structure, while building our relationships with our shareholders and our banks."

Further to the trading statement made on 6 October, 2011, Mouchel has been in discussions with its lending banks regarding covenant breaches which are expected to arise given the reduced profits highlighted in the trading statement.

The company said all of the banks recognised that Mouchel had strong and valuable businesses which needed to be supported by a stable, long-term financial structure.

Mouchel rejected separate takeover offers from Interserve and Costain earlier this year, claiming that the latter would involve "unacceptably high" risk and the former offer "significantly undervalues" its business.

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