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McBrierty accuses AWG

FORMER group operations director Stephen McBrierty has accused AWG executives of issuing the writ to hide other issues at the water firm.

Mr McBrierty, who is fighting the claim separately from Sir Fraser, said: 'AWG did not understand the business it bought and if you don't understand it you can't manage it. They didn't have the staff capable of running it.

'The only time AWG seem to bring this up is when their results are due.

Putting this in the picture is a nice distraction for them from their results.'

This week AWG, which lost over £50 million last time compared to a £126 million profit in 2001, announced it had been the subject of takeover bid from West LB bank four days before the writ was served.

Mr McBrierty was made redundant from the firm in November 2000, two months after AWG bought it, and departed with an £180,000 pay-off. He is currently unemployed after leaving an unnamed private equity business.

He said he stood by the profits forecast of £30.5 million to March 2001 which AWG claims was misleading and led it to table its £263 million offer. Morrison made a loss of over £46 million instead.

Mr McBrierty added:

'Profit forecasts are by definition forecasts. But the difference in management was a significant element towards AWG's failure to deliver a profitable number.'