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Alf McAlpine chief set to pocket £5m-plus from Carillion takeover

Alfred McAlpine chief executive Ian Grice stands to pocket over £5 million when Carillion completes its takeover of the firm next week.

Mr Grice is widely expected to leave the company when Carillion ties up its £561 million deal next Tuesday.

He has been in charge of the firm for over four-and-a-half years and, along with the rest of the board, last November agreed to accept Carillion’s cash plus shares offer for the £1 billion turnover company.

Two court hearings - tomorrow and on Monday - will rubber-stamp the deal which has been agreed at 547.5 pence per share - four per cent less than the 570 pence Carillion offered a month before, which was then rejected as too low.

Mr Grice, who was appointed to the board back in 1995, will be around £5.2 million better off, with the anticipated payout thought to be one of the largest ever handed out to a director of a listed contractor.
In the offer document sent to Alfred McAlpine shareholders, the details of what Mr Grice will pick up are explained.

It says: “Mr Grice is entitled to receive a lump sum comprising 24 months of annual basic salary and pensions accrual. The cost of pensions accrual to the company has been 135 per cent since April 2006.”

The 24 months notice of his annual salary of £382,200 will net him £764,400, while the 24 months pension will come in at just over £1 million.

Mr Grice also owns 217,251 shares which, at the offer price, will bring in a further £1.2 million. He is also a member of two executive share schemes which award shares based on the performance of the company.

It is understood this amounts to around 400,000 shares which totals a further £2.2 million.

Under the terms of his contract, Mr Grice has up to 90 days from the formal completion of the takeover, known as a “change of control”, to invoke the terms of his agreement.

Carillion is due to reveal more details of what it plans to do with the company in the next few days through a series of briefings for McAlpine’s 8,600 staff.

A spokesman said: “For the vast majority of people, the plan is to get folk on board and grow the business faster.”

More details of the savings it will make from the deal are due to be announced in its 2007 preliminary results on 5 March.

Senior figures go

The managing directors of Alfred McAlpine’s building and civil engineering divisions will leave the company at the end of the month.

Steve Goulston and Steve Smith are going amid complaints that Carillion has still not told staff at the divisions whether their jobs are safe or not.

The departures are part of a swathe of high-profile moves which will see the entire board, including Matt Swan, the managing director of the building and civils arms, and virtually all the senior managers go.

One insider said: “The way Carillion is dealing with this is appalling. There’s a week to go and none of us know whether we’ll be here or not.”

Carillion has pledged to make savings of £30 million. Another employee said: “They should have kept the name. A lot of people are very hacked off. If you want to make savings of £30 million, how do you make savings quickly? Get rid of people.”

The business services division headed by Craig McGilvray is expected to bear the brunt of any cutbacks.

A famous name consigned to history

Barring a last-minute change of heart, the Alfred McAlpine name will be the latest marque to disappear from construction.

Carillion is set to ditch the name and rebrand the company – which was formed in 1935 by the fourth son of Robert McAlpine and made its name building roads in the post-war years – with the Carillion name.

Mowlem was the last big-name to disappear when it was bought by Carillion two years ago.

And Laing was renamed Laing O’Rourke after being snapped up by Ray O’Rourke’s firm in 2001.