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Carillion shakes up management to lead recovery

[LONDON] Britain's Carillion announced a series of changes to its management on Monday as the crisis-hit construction services company tries to stabilise its business and rebuild its balance sheet.

CFO Zafar Khan will step down with immediate effect, to be replaced by Emma Mercer, the finance head of its UK construction business.

It has also appointed Lee Watson, on a secondment from auditors Ernst & Young LLP, as its chief transformation officer.

Mr Khan's departure comes two months after chief executive Richard Howson was ousted as the company warned on full-year profits, citing difficult markets and a deterioration in some contracts.

Carillion, which helps to maintain British railways and roads, said in July that payment problems on four construction contracts nearing or reaching completion had forced it take a provision of £845 million (S$1.49 billion).

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There has been speculation that the company may have to raise at least £500 million and could announce a rights issue alongside its results on Sept 29.

Carillion's troubles have been compounded by its debt pile and pension obligations and trouble collection cash from clients.

Winning new contracts had become harder as spending in the Middle East adjusts to lower oil prices, and the firm had also experienced some delays in UK public spending decisions since Britain voted to leave the European Union.

Shares in the company, which plunged around 80 per cent in the aftermath of the warning, fell 6 per cent to 41.42 pence in early trade.


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