Amey UK has failed three out of four financial tests applied by Transport for Wales ahead of the Core Valley Lines (CVL) asset transfer, but the company told LTT its order book is healthy and its cashflow is positive.
The transfer is due to occur on 28 March. Amey Keolis Infrastructure Ltd will become the licensed infrastructure manager for the CVL, comprising routes north of Cardiff Queen Street and two local lines in Cardiff.
Minutes of the December meeting of TfW’s board reveal that TfW had repeated the “financial standing tests” which it previously conducted on Amey and Keolis before it awarded them the Operator and Development Partner contract for Wales and Borders rail services in 2018.
“Amey UK plc now fail three of the four tests based on their 31 December 2018 financial results,” say the minutes. After a redacted sentence, they continue: “TfW has an additional risk management mechanism in place through the Infrastructure Management of Last Resort (IMLR) monitoring activities throughout the infrastructure management contract term. TfW and its advisors continue to actively monitor and analyse the financial standing of Amey UK.”
TfW’s board was also concerned about the potential impact of Amey being put up for sale by its Spanish owner, Ferrovial. Chief executive James Price was due to update the board on the subject last month.
An Amey UK spokesman said: “Amey looks to the future with confidence. 2018, whilst challenging, saw Amey grow both organically and through acquisition. Our order book remains healthy at £7.7bn and our cashflow is positive.”
Ferrovial is selling its services division, which includes Amey. The sale of Amey is being managed separately from the wider services business. As is standard practice, Amey’s auditors had to record that the business was for sale in Amey’s results, and this affected Amey’s credit rating.
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