Kier has sold Mouchel Consulting to WSP Global for £75M, after announcing it was looking for buyers earlier this year.
Mouchel Consulting was bought as part of Kier’s £265M cash acquisition of Mouchel in June 2015. However, just over a year later, Kier announced that it was reviewing the consulting arm, saying simplification of its portfolio was a priority and that it wanted to focus on areas that will underpin its growth expectations in its core markets of infrastructure, housing and building.
WSP said it was buying the 2,000-strong Mouchel Consulting to strengthen its presence in the UK public infrastructure sector, specifically in highways design, intelligent transport systems and the regulated water industry. Though the acquisition, WSP said it is better placed to benefit from opportunities arising out of the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan.
WSP managing director Mark Naysmith said that the move made it a “top-tier player” for public sector transport projects: “This will position us as trusted advisors, enabling us to deliver our clients’ projects across the whole life cycle of their projects.”
Mouchel said the move is also to support Middle East expansion.
“We also anticipate playing an active role in the development and growth of WSP’s multi-disciplinary activities in the public sector in the UK and Middle East, and look forward to offering a wide range of additional services to our respective clients,” said Mouchel managing director Miles Barnard.
For the financial year ended 30 June 2016, Mouchel Consulting’s revenue was £125M, with an operating profit of £8M and profit before tax of £5M.
“Having completed the integration of Mouchel, we are well progressed with the simplification of our portfolio of businesses. The disposal of Mouchel Consulting continues this process and provides increased capital to focus on the opportunities across our core businesses which will underpin the group’s future growth,” said Kier chief executive Haydn Mursell.