Construction giant Kier Group in take-over of McNicholas

McNicholas has been bought over by the Kier Group plc

BELFAST infrastructure firm McNicholas, which been successfully delivering solutions to utilities and communications companies more than 65 years, has been bought over by the £4 billion-turnover Kier Group.

All of the 1,880 McNicholas employees, including around 200 at its Newtownabbey base, will transfer to Kier as part of the deal, which was completed for an undisclosed sum.

McNicholas, whose signature projects in Northern Ireland include building the Phoenix Natural Gas network, will become part of Kier Integrated Services within the Kier Group.

The new owners, who currently boast a £9 billion order book, said: "There will be no change in the day-to-day operation of McNicholas and its work with existing clients."

Kier chief executive Haydn Mursell said: “The acquisition of McNicholas builds on our strategy to accelerate growth and hold leading positions in our chosen markets.

"It is a highly complementary addition to our utility services business and enhances our presence in the power, rail and telecoms markets, with its long-standing client relationships. We are delighted that Barry and his team will remain with Kier to continue the growth and development of the business.”

Barry McNicholas, chief executive of McNicholas, said: “Our business has been servicing the rapidly growing telecommunications industry for over 50 years and our expertise and knowledge has given us leading positions in new sectors such as gas, power, rail and civil engineering.

"We are excited by the opportunities that joining a larger group gives our teams to expand and grow. It also provides our clients access to a broader range of capabilities. I and the team look forward to joining Kier and playing a role in delivering the Vision 2020 strategy.”

McNicholas, which is based in Hertfordshire, specialises in engineering services for sectors such as gas, power, water, renewable energy and rail and as well as Phoenix its clients include Virgin Media, Network Rail and UK Power Networks.

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