City puts $630m price tag on Mouchel

Mouchel, the international professional services firm that has become a takeover target, is expected to attract a price of $630m from its potential suitors. 

The company, which provides highway asset management services for about 200,000km or road lanes in the UK and Australia, is presently in talks with Kier, amid speculation that other contractors will enter a bidding war. Three years ago, the firm turned down offers from Costain and Interserve for more than £150m. 

Mouchel is owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and Barclays, the banks that  bailed it out during the financial crisis after its debts mounted to £140m. The UK construction industry’s interest in Mouchel comes as the government announced plans in its Autumn Statement to spend £15bn on road projects over the next five years – and the firm maintains about a third of the UK’s motorway network, including the famous Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham (pictured).  

Kier, which is building a grandstand at Cheltenham racecourse, reported £3bn of turnover with pre-tax profit of £73m for the year to the end of June. Mouchel reported a pre-tax profit of £21m last year on revenues of £555m. 

The contractor took over support services firm May Gurney for £221m last year.

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