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Amec Spie commands hefty price as main group considers its future

NEWS

AMEC is continuing with plans to break-up the business following the £707 million sale of its French-based engineering arm Amec Spie on Monday.

The firm has been bought by specialist private equity investor PAI and the deal will make Amec a profit of £220 million, which will be used to plug debts at the company.

PAI has been involved in a number of high-profile buyouts across Europe including Kwik-Fit and United Biscuits in the UK.

The buyout is expected to be rubber-stamped by shareholders in August as Amec continues to mull over plans to split the group into an energy and process contracting business and a second company dedicated to UK infrastructure and construction.

The £707 million deal was well ahead of City estimates of £500 million for the Spie sell-off but Amec's shares still dropped 6 per cent on the day of the announcement.

Chief executive Sir Peter Mason said: 'We are delighted to have secured a timely transaction at a very good price and with a shareholder who will continue to support Spie's plans to invest and develop the business.' Further details of the restructuring will be announced at the firm's interim results on August 31.