Interserve reveals Mouchel bid

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Interserve, whose jobs range from maintaining army training grounds to collecting trolleys for Sainsbury's, has made a proposal to buy Mouchel

Outsourcing firm Interserve has emerged as the potential suitor for Mouchel in a deal that would create one of the biggest firms of its kind in the UK.

Mouchel, which provides consulting and business services for public sector clients, said on Thursday it had reached agreement with an unnamed bidder after several weeks of speculation about a potential takeover deal.

Reading-based firm Interserve, which employs 50,000 people and whose jobs range from maintaining army training grounds to collecting trolleys for Sainsbury’s, revealed today it made the proposal to buy the company.

Interserve said combining with Mouchel would make it a market leader in consultancy and support services, particularly in infrastructure.

A final deal has not yet been reached and Maidenhead-based construction firm Costain, which carries out improvement works on railways, airports and roads, may return with another offer after failing with recent approaches.

Mouchel became vulnerable to a possible takeover after profit warnings caused by public sector belt-tightening hit shares. The company is currently worth around £175 million – in line with the most recent offer from Costain.

London-based Mouchel works with the public and private sector on road and railway projects among other schemes.

Clients have included local authorities in Milton Keynes, Middlesbrough and Bath & North East Somerset.

Support services and construction firm Interserve’s workload includes cleaning and maintenance, design, facilities management and a range of plant and equipment hire.

Its clients include HSBC as well as public sector bodies.

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