Mouchel had received a positive reaction from the City about a plan to go back on the Stock Exchange, its chief executive Grant Rumbles revealed last week
Contractor Kier last month announced it had secured a deal to buy Mouchel for £265M.This brought to a conclusion several years of speculation about the future ownership of the Surrey-based consultancy, which was taken over by a group of banks in 2012.
Rumbles said Mouchel had received good feedback for its “Plan A” to relist on the Stock Exchange.
“We would have gone back to the market, and ownership would have gone from the banks back to the City,” he told NCE. “The advice was that we would be welcome back on the Stock Exchange.
“But we started discussions with Kier last autumn and found a really good fit. Although Mouchel was in a good position and could have relisted, we feel us and Kier are stronger together.”
He added of the Kier deal: “This is about having stronger scale, balance sheet and access to clients.”
Mouchel is likely to target back-office work for councils
Kier already works for, as well as environmental and water contracts related to Kier schemes, said Rumbles.
He said Mouchel’s engineering consultancy arm was likely to continue in its present form.
“I expect it will be a stand alone department within Kier,” he said.
“There will be opportunities for it.”
Rumbles, who will leave Mouchel as soon as the deal is completed, conceded there would be a level of consolidation between the companies.
“I will leave and my chief financial officer will leave about a month later,” he said.
“There will be integration at board level and in group functions. But for the vast majority of our 6,500 workers the merger is good news - it will bring more work and more prospects.”
Rumbles plans to take some time off after leaving Mouchel, the company he joined in 2011.
“My time at Mouchel has been very challenging but very enjoyable,” he said. “It has been my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night.
“I will go home to Aberdeenshire, take a good break and see what comes next.”
Kier is funding the Mouchel acquisition by raising additional equity and the deal is subject to shareholder approval. The acquisition is expected to be complete in June.
Kier chief executive Haydn Mursell will assume the same role in the expanded firm.