Jarvis hires Merlin amid restructure

Troubled infrastructure group Jarvis has dropped Tulchan Communications as its financial PR adviser following a shake-up in senior management and a restructuring of the group’s activities.

The group appointed Merlin to handle the account last week as it announced that former Dunlop Slazenger Group CEO Alan Lovell would be taking over as chief executive. Lovell replaces Kevin Hyde who quit the firm at the end of September.

Merlin worked for Lovell from when he joined Dunlop Slazenger as CEO in 1997 until Sports World International bought the company earlier this year.

Lovell has his work cut out to placate shareholders angry at the £256m losses the company ran up last year.

Earlier this month Jarvis sold its Private Finance Initiative bidding team to French firm Vinci in an attempt to reduce its net debt, which stood at £212m at the end of July.

However, the £5m reportedly raised from the sale will not have made a significant dent in Jarvis’s mountain of debt, which could hamper its attempts to win new business.

Jarvis is also poised to sell its stake in Tube Lines, the private sector consortium that runs a third of the London Underground network. It is in negotiations with private equity group Star Capital Partners to sell its share for up to £150m.

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