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Third Mouchel executive resigns in a fortnight

The interim chairman of Mouchel – appointed just last week – has resigned from the troubled company.

David Sugden, who was appointed interim chairman after the resignation of Bo Lerenius – which followed the resignation of chief executive Richard Cuthbert – left the firm over the weekend.

A statement to the Stock Exchange today said: “The board of Mouchel Group plc announces that David Sugden, who was appointed interim chairman of Mouchel last week, has resigned from the board over the weekend.  His resignation follows further discussions with the board and other key parties about the best way to secure the group’s future.”

The latest twist comes after the highways maintenance specialist issued a profit warning on Thursday October 6, when Mr Cuthbert also resigned.

In more positive news, the firm said that lenders will contine to support Mouchel. CN reported last week that Lloyds, Barclays and RBS have hired KPMG to assess Mouchel’s position.

The Mouchel statement added: “The lending banks have informed the board that they are fully supportive of the board and its executive team which believes that Mouchel has strong and valuable businesses which need to be supported by a stable, long-term financial structure.”

Sir Michael Lyons, senior independent director, is leading the search for a new external chairman and will chair the board in the meantime.

The company said executive directors Grant Rumbles - appointed new chief executive last week - and Mr Harris “remain focused on the steps necessary to secure the future of the company and they enjoy the full support and confidence of the board and its lenders”.

Costain and Interserve have shown little interest in resurrecting their takeover bids for Mouchel.

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