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Archive - Monday, 2 June 2003
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Amey takeover wins approval
The takeover of troubled support services company Amey, which has its headquarters in Sutton Courtenay, near Abingdon, has been approved by shareholders.
Amey is being bought for £81m by Ferrovial Servicios, Spain's largest construction and services company.
The move comes after a painful year for Amey, involving accounting problems, two profit warnings and bottom-line losses of £129.5m.
It disposed of several subsidiaries and is now primarily focused on two divisions, covering transport and business services.
In May, it slashed another 250 jobs, having already cut its 8,500-strong workforce by 300 last year.
The Sutton Courtenay site employs about 400 people.
Amey effectively put itself up for sale in November and talked to a number of parties before backing the approach from Ferrovial of 32p a share.
Ferrovial now has a foothold in the UK through both private and public-sector work. Its UK presence currently includes joint ownership of Bristol International Airport.
Chief executive Joaquin Ayuso said Amey would form a significant part of the enlarged company, adding that it offered access to a portfolio of more stable activities under long term contracts. The transaction was cleared last week by the European Commission.
Amey manages and maintains 25 per cent of English and half of Scottish trunk roads, and holds a 12 per cent share of the rail maintenance market.
While it has sold its share of the Tube Lines consortium taking over maintenance and infrastructure work on three London Underground lines, Ferrovial confirmed Amey would take up an option to buy back a £60m share in the venture.
Amey last year had turnover of £917m. An earlier review of the business had seen Amey offload poorly-performing activities and sell its portfolio of PFI investments to Laing.
Sir Stanley Kalms' activist investment company Volvere has picked up Amey's loss-making engineering consultancy business Vectra, whose customers include the Harwell-based UK Atomic Energy Authority.