Mouchel interim chairman resigns after four days

 

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The interim chairman of troubled infrastructure and maintenance group Mouchel, David Sugden, has resigned four days after being appointed.

Mouchel, hit by a downturn in public sector spending and at risk of breaching its loan agreements, gave no reason for the departure.

But the firm said in a statement that Mr Sugden resigned over the weekend.

He replaced chairman Bo Lerenius last Thursday, saying at the time he would focus on Mouchel's "clear strategy".

Michael Lyons, senior independent director, will chair the board until a new chairman was found, Mouchel said.

The statement continued: "[Mr Sugden's] resignation follows further discussions with the board and other key parties about the best way to secure Mouchel's future.

"The lending banks have informed the board that they are fully supportive of the board and its executive team, which believes that Mouchel has strong and valuable businesses which need to be supported by a stable, long-term financial structure," it added.

Investors greeted the news with a 44% surge in the share price, to 18.75p. In March, the shares hit 154p.

Chief executive Richard Cuthbert quit earlier this month after Mouchel said a statistical error and mounting risks to contracts would slash about 60% off this year's profits.

Former Serco chief operating officer Greg Rumbles was named as his replacement a week later.

Cuts in government and local authority spending have hit Mouchel hard.

In March, the company rejected takeover approaches from Costain and Interserve.

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