Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

'Basket case' Jarvis sells off Techspan

Road sign business goes as shareholders agree debt-for-equity swap

JARVIS continued its sell-off of assets last week with the disposal of its roads sign business, Techspan.

The move came a day after shareholders agreed plans for debt-for-equity swap designed to keep the beleaguered business af loat. Techspan was sold for £890,000 to Solihull-based Hill & Smith.

The operation specialises in variable message road signs and in the year to March 2005 suffered a pre-tax loss of nearly £1.2 million. Revenue from the sale will go towards filling a black hole in Jarvis's accounts after it announced losses of £354 million last month.

The company is slimming down in line with its strategy of concentrating on its three core sectors of rail, plant hire and roads.

Shareholders agreed the debt-for-equity swap at an emergency general meeting last week. The deal with Deutsche Bank will raise an extra £50 million for the firm but will place 95 per cent of the company in the financier's hands.

A Jarvis spokesman said: 'We are pleased to announce that the restructuring plans were approved by shareholders.

'We will be making a further announcement shortly, providing details of the timetable for the restructuring.' Jarvis has disposed of 13 peripheral operations during the past financial year and last month its highways maintenance arm was sold to Accord.

One analyst said: 'The debt-for-equity decision gives them a sniff of a chance but the company is a bit of a basket case.

'It's just one thing after another with Jarvis and it's impossible to see how they can really go forward from here.' Jarvis chairman Steven Norris also announced that former Amey director Richard Entwistle will be joining the firm as chief operating officer on September 8.

Related Jobs