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MBO returns Hyder to private ownership

HYDER CONSULTING was back in private hands this week after completing the UK consulting sector's biggest ever management buyout.

Managing director Tim Wade signed the deal for the £120M turnover firm with Hyder Consulting's former owner WPD last Friday morning.

The organisation's 2,600 staff now know their future after months of uncertainity following the takeover of the consultant's former owner, Hyder Welsh Water, by WPD in August.

The price paid was negotiated down from £20M but Wade cannot reveal the final figure.

Members of the executive board are the major shareholders but Hyder Consulting's 70 most senior managers are to be invited to share in the deal.

'As people come through the company they will also have the opportunity to take stakes, ' Wade said.

'It's a cracking good company and the potential is enormous.

Infrastructure in the UK is very lively and that is our business.

Growth in the short term is resource constrained rather than work constrained. I'm not sure I've ever seen the market like that.'

Overseas the company will be able to concentrate on being a consultant rather than helping promote Hyder plc in foreign markets, he added.

'The business plan is to dedicate ourselves to our clients and become the best provider of services to meet their business needs, rather than just chasing projects, ' said Wade.

In five years he expects the company to be turning over £200M through growth and acquisition.

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