Amey plc

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Amey plc
TypePublic company
IndustryEngineering
Founded1921
HeadquartersLondon, England
Key people
Amanda Fisher (acting CEO)[1]
ProductsSupport services
Number of employees
19,000[2]
ParentFerrovial
Websiteamey.co.uk

Amey plc, previously known as Amey Ltd and Amey Roadstone Construction, is a United Kingdom-based infrastructure support service provider. Since 2003, it has been a subsidiary of the Spanish infrastructure services company Ferrovial.

Amey was founded by William Charles Amey in 1921. The firm grew rapidly during the Second World War via government infrastructure contracts. In 1959, it was contracted to supply gravel for the construction of the M1 motorway. During 1963, Amey was listed on the first time on the London Stock Exchange. Between 1972 and 1989, the company was owned by Consolidated Gold Fields. In 1995, Amey was refloated on the London Stock Exchange. Around this time, management decided to orientate the company towards support services delivery activities. During April 2003, Amey was acquired by Ferrovial.

During the early 21st century, Amey diversified into various market sectors, including criminal justice and railways. Between 2003 and May 2010, the company jointly operated the Tube Lines consortium with partner Bechtel, which was responsible for maintaining, renewing and upgrading the infrastructure of three London Underground lines. As of 2021, the firm operates the Docklands Light Railway and the Manchester Metrolink tram concessions, along with a partnership with Transport for Wales Rail on the Wales and Borders franchise via a 30:70 partnership with French public services specialist Keolis. Amey also operates within the civil engineering industry as a consultant, typically performing activities such as structural design, civil infrastructure, transport systems and asset management services.

Since December 2018, Amey has been for sale by Ferrovial.

History[edit]

20th century[edit]

Amey was founded in 1921 by William Charles Amey; it was initially based in Oxfordshire and acted as quarry operator.[3] During the Second World War, the company experienced significant growth due to its involvement in fulfilling wartime demands, including an arrangement that saw Amey participate in the construction of multiple air bases on behalf of the Royal Air Force. In 1959, the company was responsible for the supply of gravel for the construction of the M1 motorway between London and Birmingham. During that same year, Amey became a public company.[3]

It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1963. Ronald William Amey took over the business from his father, and agreed the sale of the company in 1972.[4] The family had a close association with Abingdon School, where the Amey Theatre is named after them.[5] For a time, the Amey head office was in Sutton Courtenay, Vale of White Horse, near Abingdon.[6] Between 1972 and 1989, the company was owned by Consolidated Gold Fields, and used the names Amey Roadstone and ARC.[3] During this period, Amey Roadstone continued to undertake several major projects on behalf of the British government, included construction work at Mount Pleasant Airfield on the Falkland Islands, which was completed in 1986.[7] In 1974, the company bought Stephen Toulson & Sons.[3]

During 1989, Hanson purchased Amey Roadstone from Consolidated Gold Fields, returning the firm back to private ownership. In 1995, Amey was refloated on the London Stock Exchange; around this time, the company's management team made the strategic decision to focus its efforts upon the support services delivery sector.[3] To this end, in 1999, Amey acquired Comax, a secure services specialist. One year later, the company's listing on the stock exchange was changed to 'support services' to reflect the business' new direction.[3]

21st century[edit]

During April 2003, Amey was acquired by the Spanish infrastructure services company Ferrovial with the endorsement of Amey's board; even following this purchase, the firm has continued to trade under the Amey name.[8][9] A statement issued by Ferrovial noted that the purchase allowed it greater access to the lucrative British market, particularly for public–private partnerships.[10] In February 2006, Amey acquired the highway and railway design consultancy, Owen Williams, allowing it to substantially grow its business and develop its own consultancy division.[3]

During the early 21st century, a heavy emphasis was placed upon participating in Britain's railway industry.[3] From 2003 to May 2010, the company jointly owned (with Bechtel) Tube Lines, the consortium responsible for the maintenance, renewal and upgrade of the infrastructure, including track, trains, signals, civil work and stations, on three London Underground lines.[9] In 2010, Tube Lines encountered a funding shortfall for its upgrades and requested that TfL provide an additional £1.75 billion to cover the shortfall; TfL refused and referred the matter to the arbiter, who stated that £400 million should be provided.[11] Shortly following this event, Tube Lines was bought from Amey and Bechtel by Transport for London (TfL).[12] Despite this, Amey continued to provide TfL with management and maintenance services for the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines until the end of 2017, at which point London Underground Limited took over from Amey.[13][14]

In 2010, the firm expanded its presence in the waste management sector via the acquisition of waste disposal company Donarbon.[3] That same year, Amey also acquired the rail consultancy arm of WYG Engineering Ltd; these purchase was quickly followed by yet more, such as Transportation Planning (International) Ltd (TPi) in February 2011 and Aquatech Engineering in November 2014.[3] During 2011, Amey began providing criminal justice services following the issuing of three separate contract from the Ministry of Justice.[3]

In April 2013, Amey completed the acquisition of utilities, waste and public service providers, Enterprise plc.[15] In January 2016, Amey acquired Travel Point Trading Ltd (TPT), a strategic asset management consultancy with a strong presence in the rail sector in the United Kingdom.[16][17]

In February 2018, Amey purchased Carillion's rail contracts with Network Rail in the East Midlands, London and the North West, following Carillion's liquidation during the previous month; this deal reportedly saved about 700 jobs.[18][19] In August 2018, Amey completed the acquisition of Ministry of Defence (MoD) housing maintenance contracts previously run in joint venture with Carillion.[20]

Amey sale process started[edit]

In December 2018, Ferrovial offered Amey for sale.[21] Ferrovial had posted a net loss of €72m for the first half of 2018 after allocating €237m for losses on Amey's highway maintenance contract with Birmingham City Council.[21][22] In February 2019, Amey was close to a deal to exit its Birmingham contract, liabilities from which were preventing the company's sale by Ferrovial,[2] who slashed the value of Amey by £660m, saying the "fair value" of Amey in the United Kingdom was £88m.[23]

A £215m deal to terminate Amey's Birmingham contract[24] was confirmed in July 2019. The council was set to receive £160m in 2019 with a further £55m paid over the next six years, with services continuing on an interim basis until September 2019, and potentially until March 2020.[25] (However, in February 2020, it was announced the Birmingham contract would end in March 2020; Kier Group was appointed as interim contractor for 15 months while the council sought a permanent replacement for Amey.)[26]

In July 2019, a £2.3bn management buyout of Amey, backed by private equity house Apax Partners, was being planned.[27] The following day, Amey revealed a pre tax loss of £428m for the year to 31 December 2018. On revenues of £2.32bn, a £208,000 pre tax profit was wiped out by exceptional items, including £123m on the Birmingham highways contract, and a £314m write-down on Amey's waste collection and utilities businesses.[28] In December 2019, Ferrovial started to offload loss making parts of the business in the United Kingdom, appointing PricewaterhouseCoopers to find buyers for Amey's utilities and environmental services divisions.[29]

On 10 December 2019, Amanda Fisher was appointed at the acting CEO of Amey.[1] Fisher replaced former CEO Andy Milner, who had been in this role since March 2016 prior to leaving the firm. Between 2003 and 2016, Mel Ewell had served as Amey's CEO.[30][31]

On 30 September 2020, Amey reported a £217m loss in the year to 31 December 2019, mainly due to its loss-making utilities and waste businesses - booked as discontinued operations - which recorded a loss of £97m, plus £159m of associated impairments. Revenue increased in continuing UK businesses by £325m to £1.9bn, helped by the 2018 acquisition of the other half of the Carillion/Amey Defence joint venture. Operating profit was £73.2m.[32][33]

In February 2021, Ferrovial launched a fresh attempt to sell Amey, enlisting Morgan Stanley to run the sale. Amey's waste collection business had been acquired by Urbaser and Amey Utilities was being sold, leaving the remaining business organised into three main divisions – transport infrastructure; secure infrastructure; and consulting services.[34] On 7 February 2021, KeolisAmey transferred operation of Transport for Wales to a publicly-owned company, with Amey's role alongside Keolis being reduced to a continued partnership on the infrastructure and service improvements promised to Wales' rail network in the 2018 contract, such improvements will be conducted through AmeyKeolis Infrastructure.[35]

In June 2021, Amey reported a £98m pre-tax loss for 2020, hit by loss-making contracts in highways and waste treatment. Plans to sell its waste collection and utilities businesses were progressing, but no buyer for its waste treatment operations had been identified. Group revenue on continuing operations dropped 6% to £2.14bn. Parent Ferrovial planned to convert £112m in debt into equity to support the business, while also seeking to divest its services portfolio including Amey.[36] A deadline for bids to buy Amey was set for August 2021.[37] In September 2021, private investment firm Buckthorn, which included former UK chancellor Philip Hammond among its partners, was reported to be among at least two bidders for Amey.[38]

Operations[edit]

Amey works for the public and regulated sectors in the United Kingdom, selling services including highways and rail management and maintenance, facilities management, and consultancy services. Most of Amey's business is based in the United Kingdom; however it also operates in America, Australia and Qatar.

Amey is involved in consultancy in the civil engineering industry, with a wide range of design and asset management services offered. This includes structural design, civil infrastructure, transport systems and asset management services.[39] The company retains its Oxfordshire links, with an office in the Sherard Building on the Oxford Science Park in the city of Oxford.[40]

During the 2010s, Amey partnered with Canadian defense electronics specialist CAE Inc. to form a joint venture company, AmeyVTOL, which specialises in the manufacture of unmanned aerial vehicles. The company's UAVs have bee developed for the purpose of performing aerial surveys and asset inspections at beyond visual line of sight ranges, limiting the need for such activities to be performed by hand, particularly in locations that are difficult to access or pose risks to individuals; use of these platforms has been promoted to the rail industry in particular.[41]

Rail[edit]

Amey operates two tram concessions, and an infrastructure partnership with Transport for Wales.

Reputation issues[edit]

Blacklisting[edit]

Amey Construction was revealed as having been a paying subscriber to the United Kingdom's Consulting Association, which had been exposed in 2009 for operating an illegal construction industry blacklist.[47][48]

Streets Ahead[edit]

In August 2012, Amey signed a twenty five year private finance initiative 'Streets Ahead' contract with Sheffield City Council to maintain the city's roads, pavements, street lights and highway trees.[39] The replacement of up to 17,500 of the city's 36,000 highway trees was the subject of a campaign by local residents, who argued that the majority of the trees listed for felling were healthy and could be retained using sensitive engineering solutions.[49][50][51]

According to the council, the 'Streets Ahead' tree strategy meant only trees which had been assessed as dead, dying, diseased, dangerous, damaging footpaths, private property or roads, or discriminatory by obstructing pavements were replaced.[52][53] The ultimate decision was taken by the council.[54] Over the course of the contract the overall number of highways trees would increase.[55] On 26 March 2018, the city council announced an immediate pause of the tree felling scheme, following the wave of criticism and protests.[56]

HMP Liverpool[edit]

On 9 March 2018, Amey lost an employment tribunal following the sacking of two maintenance workers with over 45 years experience at HM Prison Liverpool. The two men had raised safety concerns and were then sacked, but the employment tribunal ruled they had been unfairly dismissed by Amey.[57]

COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

In March 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, an Amey HR executive said company workers would not receive any special sickness benefits as he believed coronavirus was "less severe" than normal influenza. In a statement, the company subsequently stated that the comments "does not reflect Amey's official position on Covid-19."[58][59]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Amey Announces Amanda Fisher As Acting CEO". TWinFM. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b Daniel, Alex (17 February 2019). "Amey eyes escape route from Birmingham road repair PFI contract". City A.M. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Our heritage". Amey plc. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Hard lessons learned". Oxford Times.
  5. ^ "The Abingdon Foundation Development Fund" (PDF). Abingdon School.
  6. ^ "Amey bids for high-flying firm." Oxford Mail. Story date: Friday 22 January 1999. Internet date: Wednesday 27 January 1999. Retrieved 13 August 2011. "Servisair, based in Stockport, Cheshire, has operating licenses in eight countries and provides services at more than 60 airports across Europe,[...]"
  7. ^ "About the Falklands". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  8. ^ "Ferrovial to acquire Amey for £81 million". The Engineer. 16 April 2003.
  9. ^ a b "Spanish firm set to buy Amey". BBC News. 16 April 2003. Retrieved 23 June 2008.
  10. ^ "Spanish get in on UK after Amey buy out". lgcplus.com. 25 April 2003.
  11. ^ "Mayor wants government Tube money". BBC News. 7 December 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  12. ^ "Tube maintenance back 'in house' as new deal is signed". BBC News. 8 May 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  13. ^ Waboso, David (December 2010). "Transforming the tube". Modern Railways. London. p. 42.
  14. ^ "Moving Tube maintenance in-house to save £80m, as Mayor targets waste". London City Hall. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Amey's £385M Enterprise buy moves it into utilities". NCE. 28 February 2013.
  16. ^ "Amey has acquired Travel Point Trading Ltd, in a deal managed by BCMS". BCMS. January 2016.
  17. ^ "CapEQ | Travel Point Trading Limited". CAPEQ. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  18. ^ Gerrard, Bradley (22 February 2018). "Amey buys Carillion rail contracts, saving 700 jobs". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  19. ^ "Amey Rail snaps up Carillion rail projects saving 700 jobs". Construction Enquirer News.
  20. ^ "Amey completes Carillion defence JV transition". The Construction Index. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Amey up for sale". The Construction Index. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  22. ^ Elkes, Neil (13 July 2016). "Legal dispute could cost Birmingham roads contractor £55 million". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  23. ^ Prior, Grant (28 February 2019). "Ferrovial slashes value of Amey by £660m". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  24. ^ Morby, Aaron (31 May 2019). "Amey to pay £215m to exit Brum highways PFI". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  25. ^ Prior, Grant (1 July 2019). "Amey agrees to pay £215m to end Birmingham roads contract". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  26. ^ Morby, Aaron (4 February 2020). "Kier stands in for Amey on Birmingham Highways upkeep". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  27. ^ Gill, Oliver; Williams, Christopher (28 July 2019). "Private equity giant closes in on Amey in Ferrovial deal". Telegraph. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  28. ^ Prior, Grant (30 July 2019). "Amey reveals £428m loss". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  29. ^ Morby, Aaron (4 December 2019). "Amey utilities and waste business up for sale". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  30. ^ "Andy Milner: Executive Profile & Biography". Bloomberg L.P.
  31. ^ "Mel Ewell: Executive Profile & Biography". Bloomberg L.P.
  32. ^ Morby, Aaron (30 September 2020). "Amey to downsize after £217m loss". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  33. ^ "Amey posts £217m loss for 2019". The Construction Index. 30 September 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  34. ^ Morby, Aaron (3 February 2021). "Ferrovial launches fresh attempt to sell Amey". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  35. ^ "Transformation of the Welsh transport network continues - despite Covid 19 challenges". Transport For Wales News. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  36. ^ Morby, Aaron (16 June 2021). "Amey suffers £98m loss after further contract provisions". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  37. ^ Morby, Aaron (11 August 2021). "Bids to buy Amey due in this week". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  38. ^ Kleinman, Mark (18 September 2021). "Former chancellor Lord Hammond in £300m takeover bid for government contractor Amey". Sky News. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  39. ^ a b Ltd, Hemming Group (13 November 2012). "Steel city highways to be 'streets ahead' under PFI". Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  40. ^ "Contact Amey Archived 3 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Amey. Retrieved 13 August 2011. "Postal address Amey plc The Sherard Building Edmund Halley Road Oxford OX4 4DQ"
  41. ^ Wordsworth, Nigel (1 May 2020). "AmeyVTOL carries out first UK trials of 'beyond visual line of sight' drone inspection". railengineer.co.uk.
  42. ^ "French firm wins 7-year Docklands Light Railway franchise". BBC News. 4 July 2014.
  43. ^ "Keolis/Amey to operate Manchester Metrolink". Metro Report International. 18 January 2017.
  44. ^ "Wales' rail and metro franchise to be run by Keolis Amey". BBC News. BBC. 23 May 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018. A £5bn contract to run Wales' rail service for the next 15 years has been awarded to two European firms, who will run it jointly. France's Keolis and Spanish-owned Amey's bid triumphed over a rival offer from Hong Kong's MTR commuter railways. It will also drive forward the south Wales Metro in Cardiff and the valleys.
  45. ^ "Transport for Wales rail services to be nationalised". BBC News. 22 October 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  46. ^ "Welsh rail franchise now in public ownership". Transport For Wales News. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  47. ^ "The Consulting Association". Information Commissioner's Office. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  48. ^ "Revealed: the m&e firms who used illegal blacklist to vet workers". building.co.uk. 6 March 2009.
  49. ^ "Council releases more of highways contract | Sheffield News Room". www.sheffieldnewsroom.co.uk. Archived from the original on 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  50. ^ "Sheffield Street Trees are Under Threat – Join Us And Help Save Them". Sheffield Tree Action Groups. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  51. ^ Pidd, Helen (28 November 2016). "Sheffield trees dispute prompts 'scenes you'd expect in Putin's Russia'". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  52. ^ "Streets Ahead Five Year Tree Management Strategy 2012–2017" (PDF). Government of the United Kingdom.
  53. ^ "Managing & looking after street trees". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  54. ^ "High Court Judgement – Sheffield City Council v Fairhall & Others" (PDF). Paragraph 18.
  55. ^ "Council busts further myths on its street tree replacement programme | Sheffield News Room". www.sheffieldnewsroom.co.uk. Archived from the original on 25 February 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  56. ^ Halliday, Josh (26 March 2018). "Sheffield council pauses tree-felling scheme after criticism". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  57. ^ Osborne, Samuel (12 March 2018). "Liverpool Prison workers who raised safety concerns were unfairly dismissed after 20 years, rules tribunal". Independent. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  58. ^ Booth, Robert (31 March 2020). "UK firm won't pay higher sick pay as COVID-19 'less severe than flu'". Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  59. ^ Kennedy, Catherine (2 April 2020). "Amey announces U-turn on coronavirus sick pay". New Civil Engineer.

External links[edit]