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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Amey sale latest as ‘deadline’ passes

The stage of Ferrovial’s attempts to sell Amey could enter a new chapter this week after a deadline for bids apparently passed.

Sky News reported earlier this month that the Spanish parent company had asked for offers by Friday 13 August for the Oxford-based infrastructure services and engineering firm.

Ferrovial bought Amey for about £80M in 2003, saying the acquisition would give the Spanish company “a strong position in the UK”, which it saw as “a key European market with the most experience of outsourcing services”.

Fifteen years later Ferrovial confirmed it was looking to sell its entire services division at a time when Amey was in the news for all the wrong reasons.

The Oxford-headquartered company in 2018 reported a £190M pre-tax loss after setting aside more than £200M to deal with a fast-unravelling roads contract in the West Midlands.

A legal dispute with Birmingham City Council over the quality of work delivered under the 25-year highways maintenance and management deal was dragging on and attempts to sell Amey were ultimately unsuccessful at that time.

However an agreement was eventually reached to free Amey from the Birmingham deal, with Kier taking over. And earlier this year it was reported that Ferrovial had engaged financial services giant Morgan Stanley to restart the sale process.

No firm frontrunners have emerged for the company but Japanese engineering giant Nippon Koei was among those tipped back in 2018 to be likely to consider tabling a bid.

Ferrovial has been contacted for comment on the latest with the sale.

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