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Amec to sell Spie division to raise cash

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LACK OF investment cash last week forced Amec into putting its Amec Spie mechanical, electrical and communications business up for sale with a price tag of more than £230M.

The company said it was also considering whether to float its contracting and infrastructure investments arm.

Contracting operations within this division are to be refocused on private finance initiative work and partnerships with airports, defence, rail and industrial sector clients.

Cash from the sale of Spie and the contracting operation is to be used to finance growth in what is left of its engineering and technical services and oil and gas divisions, and to cut its £580M debts. Some could also be returned to shareholders.

Amec refused to say how much Spie contributed to its fi ances. But the operation is a major part of Amec's engineering and technical services division, which last year produced an operating profit of £75.3M on turnover of £2.3bn.

Amec only completed the takeover of Spie in 2003. It said that the division was unable to produce strong enough growth unless it bought a competitor and that Amec lacked the money for this.

The project solutions division, which includes contracting and infrastructure investments produced an operating profit of £41.4M on turnover of £1.3bn.

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