Kier confirms Andrew Davies as new boss amid turnaround efforts

Kier Group has confirmed the appointment of Andrew Davies as chief executive to lead a turnaround at the troubled construction giant.

Mr Davies will replace former boss Haydn Mursell, who left less than two months ago in the wake of a £250 million emergency rights issue, which was snubbed by nearly two-thirds of investors.

Mr Davies was due to take on the top job at failed outsourcer Carillion, but the group went bust before he could take up the role.

He will start work at Kier on April 15.

Kier – which is working on the new HS2 railway line – saw shares rise 3% after the announcement.

Philip Cox, who had taken on the post of executive chairman until a new boss was appointed, said: “Andrew has a strong track record of business leadership and his operational experience across a number of sectors, combined with his strategic approach, make him an excellent fit for Kier.”

Carillion crisis
Andrew Davies was due to take on the top job at failed outsourcer Carillion, but the group went bust before he could take up the role (Carillion/PA)

Mr Cox will revert back to the post of non-executive chairman when Mr Davies takes up the role.

Mr Davies said he was looking forward to “bringing a renewed focus on simplifying the group, improving cash flow generation and reducing net debt, whilst maintaining the group’s disciplined approach to risk management”.

Prior to the ill-fated Carillion appointment, Mr Davies was formerly chief executive of property and construction company Wates Group.

He also previously spent more than 28 years at BAE Systems, latterly as managing director of the maritime division.

He starts at Kier at a difficult time for the group and the sector, with the investor cash call late last year designed to cut its debt and strengthen its balance sheet.

But a syndicate of banks was left nursing a £100 million headache after the poor reception for the rights issue.

It comes as storm clouds are also gathering over the construction sector as Brexit looms, investment is put on hold and projects cancelled amid acute uncertainty.

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