Mouchel says 8,000 jobs secured in administration

A motorway
Image caption Mouchel helps to build and maintain motorways

UK public infrastructure group Mouchel has said that 8,000 jobs will be preserved as it enters administration.

"The completion of this restructuring means that the long-term future of this business is secure," said chief executive Grant Rumbles.

Mouchel entered administration after its shareholders rejected a proposed restructuring on Friday.

It has now been sold to a new company owned by its main lenders - RBS, Lloyds and Barclays - and Mouchel management.

The sale to MRBL Limited will enable all of Mouchel's subsidiaries to continue operating as normal, according to the administrator, KPMG.

Shareholders turned down a plan to swap its £87m of debt for stock but it intends to implement the plan anyway.

Shareholders would have received a dividend of 1p per share but will now get nothing in administration.

Mouchel helps build and maintain the UK's motorways.

The company's shares were suspended on Friday after the shareholder vote and Mouchel said that, once appointed, the administrators would apply to delist the firm from the stock exchange.

"While it is unfortunate that shareholders have chosen not to approve the terms of the restructuring... the board is pleased that the restructuring of the Mouchel group's balance sheet can be implemented by an alternative mechanism," chairman David Shearer said.

At the shareholder vote on the restructuring with the special 1p dividend, the proposals had required 75% shareholder approval but received a maximum of 72%.

Two-thirds of Mouchel's client base is made up of government spending, which was sharply cut in 2011.

Its chief executive quit last year after Mouchel said a statistical error and mounting risks to contracts would slash about 60% off its profits. Its interim chairman resigned four days after being appointed.

The Woking-based firm has a long history, introducing reinforced concrete to the UK in the 1890s.

The company's shares have fallen from highs of about 485p in 2008 to less than a penny on Friday before trading was suspended.

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