John Laing to appoint comms head after sell-off

Engineering and building giant John Laing is set to appoint a UK communications head after it sells its once core construction arm.

Engineering and building giant John Laing is set to appoint a UK communications head after it sells its once core construction arm.

The company, worth upwards of pounds 500m, is in the process of selling its famous construction business to an unnamed buyer for a sum analysts estimate to be between pounds 60m and pounds 100m.

The construction arm - which has in the past played a key role in building the Millennium Dome, the second Severn Bridge and Cardiff's Millennium Stadium - is no longer considered a core business.

The sale is expected to be completed by April, at which point the company's only in-house PRO, head of press Andy Geldard, will no longer technically work for the firm.

Insiders say he is likely to be a contender for a fresh UK communications chief role with the remaining business, however the process of filling this newly-created post would also be thrown open to external applicants.

Laing uses Christow Consultants and City Profile for financial PR in a relationship stretching back almost 15 years. The account is headed by MD Jonathan Gillen but reports to group finance director Adrian Ewer, rather than to Geldard.

The three remaining divisions of Laing are homes, property and investments.

The latter includes a number of lucrative private finance initiative contracts in roads and hospital building.

Gillen said that although the three non-construction arms of Laing had managed without a dedicated PR function until now, a range of issues made a senior appointment likely in the second half of the year.





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