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Electricals prompt halt in institution merger plans


ELECTRO-MECHANICAL institution merger talks were halted by the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) after it decided the merger would take too long and not be in the best interests of its members, it has emerged.

The decision to abandon the merger after nine months of talks was announced by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers last week (News last week).

IEE director general Alf Roberts this week confirmed that while much agreement had been achieved, the timetable for the merger 'didn't fit with our plans'.

'You can only go on so long, ' said Roberts. 'We have tried to keep the costs down but there has certainly been a deflection of management time. If this process had gone on then it would have been a problem for us.'

But Institution of Mechanical Engineers president Professor Chris Taylor said he was 'extremely disappointed' by the failure of talks.

'We were close to an agreement and I believe that the merger really would have been possible, ' said Taylor. 'You have got to raise your aspirations in this kind of negotiation. You will inevitably meet problems but you have got to ride over them to succeed.'

Institution of Incorporated Engineers' chief executive Peter Wason was also disappointed by the failure of the merger talks.

'Of course there are regrets, ' said Wason. 'But we went a long way. This failure doesn't mean that we shouldn't have tried - and we have all resolved to bring it back to the table in the future.'

Antony Oliver

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