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Scott Wilson ponders flotation in bid to expand

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SCOTT WILSON is considering flotation as one way of expanding the £158M turnover civil engineering consultancy, chairman Geoff French said this week.

French said that flotation was possible after announcing that the company had reorganised its board to more closely resemble that of a plc.

The move comes a few months after Scott Wilson doubled the value of its shares at its annual general meeting to more closely represent what they would be worth if the company floated.

'We plan to grow organically and by acquisition, ' said French.

'Flotation is an option.' 'We want to operate along the lines of a plc, ' he added. 'That means having a smaller board with responsibility for the business as a whole.

'The new structure removes the confusion of responsibility that you can get if you have people on your main board presenting the interests of divisions.' Two new chief executives have been appointed to work with French to expand the firm.

Former director for Scotland Hugh Blackwood will focus on international work and the railway sector. Ron Wall, who has been running the company's successful central division, will now be responsible for the whole of the UK and Ireland (NCE 7 April).

Blackwood, 57, and Wall, 58, join French, 58, on a much reduced Scott Wilson main board that also includes finance director Stephen Kimmett, company director Geoff Redwood, non executive director Pelham Allen and two other non-execs who are yet to be appointed.

Divisional CEOs will report to an operational board.

Former main board directors Bob McGittrick and Jim McCafferty will operate as non executive chairmen, providing support to their new divisional CEOs.

Four senior directors, including RedR founder Peter Guthrie, left Scott Wilson last year 'by mutual agreement' as part of a cost cutting move (NCE 21 October 2004).

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