Building has learned that Simon Hipperson, head of Amey's programme management unit, has resigned and will leave the group at the end of the month. It is understood that he will join Skanska.
As programme management boss, Hipperson was responsible for setting up teams to run projects and bids for Amey's divisions. This unit is now being merged into Amey Ventures, its PFI investment division.
His resignation follows the departure of two board directors this week – finance director David Miller (see right) and technology division services head John Robinson. PFI head Robert Osborne left in July.
The resignations follow another difficult week for Amey, in which it announced 300 job losses and the sale of its PFI equity holdings.
Amey has also scrapped its loss-making technology services division and plans to sell some of its businesses. The group's business development unit, which was headed by Osborne, is also being merged into Amey Ventures as the group scales back its PFI activities. The changes are expected to cost £10m.
Amey said on Tuesday that it expected to get between £75m and £150m for its PFI equity stakes, which the company valued at £70m in May. The group had decided that ownership of PFI equity investments was no longer "appropriate".
The group also said that in future, it would bid only for PFI contracts in partnership with another firm, so the risks and costs could be shared. Firms would be offered equity stakes or the construction element of the project, and Amey would keep the facilities management and other support services elements.
Laing was this week tipped as a frontrunner to buy Amey's equity stakes and the most likely to want to work in partnership with the firm. An analyst said: "The move would fit. Laing has the cash Amey wants and Amey has the support services capabilities that Laing doesn't have. It makes sense."
A PFI expert said the price Amey would get for its PFI equity interests would depend on who the buyer was. He said: "Amey will get less if it sells to a fund such as Innisfree than if it goes to a trade buyer like Laing."
But the source said Amey was selling the interests too early.
The firm posted an interim pre-tax profit this week of £11.3m on £453.7m turnover.