Summary of what led to Kier’s share price hitting an all-time low


It’s been a tumultuous 12 months for the country’s second biggest contractor.

The company has been hit by a rights issue, two writedowns, big ticket losses and a revolving door at management level all since last August.

It has also lost 88% of its share price in the past 12 months.

Now new chief executive Andrew Davies, who joined the company in March, has announced plans to sell of the company’s housing business and axe 1,200 jobs.

Take a look back at the events that led to the company’s financial turmoil.

A timeline of the latest Kier news

9 July 2019: Kier’s share price slumps 10% as asset managers Neil Woodford and St James Place cut their stake in the firm.

28 June 2019: Another Kier director leaves the struggling contractor with one its Northern bosses calling time on his stint with the firm

26 June 2019: The government begins to address a series of questions over what impact Kier’s financial problems and its decision to get rid of 650 people by the end of this week will have on its ability to carry out public sector work

21 June 2019: Asset managers betting against a rise in Kier’s share price ramp up their stakes as the market continues to predict a harder time ahead for the embattled contractor.

17 June 2019: Kier chief executive Andrew Davies says Kier is taking the axe to more than 5% of its workforce and selling its housing business blaming the firm’s buying spree of recent years for making the business too diverse.

4 June 2019: Kier’s share price tumbles again, leaving the firm barely worth more than the amount it raised in last year’s rights issue

3 June 2019: Kier’s shares are worth less than at any time since it was listed in 1996 after the struggling contractor announced another surprise writedown of £25m

7 May 2019: Kier confirms its finance boss Bev Dew is set to leave the company after more than four years in the role

1 May 2019: Kier nails down its first major contract since Andrew Davies took the helm after being named builder for the £253m Wellingborough prison by the Ministry of Justice

15 April 2019: New Kier chief executive Andrew Davies orders a strategic review of the business on his first day in the job

20 March 2019: Kier reports a pre-tax loss of £35.5m for the six months ended 31 December despite a 2% hike in turnover

19 March 2019: Andrew Davies is named Kier’s chief executive more than a year after he was due to take over the helm at Carillion

11 March 2019: Kier warns that it is set to take a £25m hit on a hospital scheme in Berkshire and that it has revised up its estimated net debt level by £50m to £180.5m for the six months to December 2018

26 February 2019: Kier Property, the development division of Kier, snaps up a major regeneration project in Birmingham

1 February 2019: Kier is revealed to be the slowest payer among the top 10 contractors and housebuilders in the second round of payment data firms have been obliged to release under law

30 January 2019: Analysts tell Building former Kier chief executive Haydn Mursell paid with his job after mishandling the firm’s rights issue

22 January 2019: Chief execuitve Haydn Mursell is ousted after eight years at Kier

20 December 2018: It’s revealed just over a third of Kier’s new shares offered as part of its rights issue have been taken up by existing investors

6 December 2018: Kier falls out of the FTSE250

4 December 2018: It’s revealed Kier’s shares have lost around 40% of their value since the contractor’s shock rights issue announcement since the previous Friday

30 November 2018: Kier launches a £264m rights issue to bolster its balance sheet as it creaks under the weight of its debt. Then chief executive Haydn Mursell says it will “completely de-risk” the firm

22 November 2018: It’s revealed that Kier’s executive director for regional building, Peter Young, is retiring from the company in June 2019

16 November 2018: Kier says the expense of rolling out its Future Proofing Kier strategy will cost the firm £10m more than it saves in the first half of the 2018-19 financial year

15 November 2018: Kier sells its interest in construction group KHSA to Australian conglomerate Downer Group for A$43.7m (£24m)

23 October 2018: Bosses at Kier are handed shares worth hundreds of thousands of pounds as part of a long-term incentive agreement for senior executives

9 October 2018: MPs on the business committee are told a number of firms won’t work for Kier because of payment record

25 September 2018: Then-Kier chief executive Haydn Mursell defends the firm’s payment terms of 54 days for suppliers and its continued use of a controversial early payment facility, saying the contractor pays its bills quicker than it’s paid

20 September 2018: Kier’s management promises to address spiralling debt after reporting a 17% increase in net debt in its results. The contractor reports a 9% increase in pre-tax profit, posting £137m.

18 September 2018: Kier sells its pensions arm for up to £3.5m as part of its ongoing drive to streamline the business

17 September 2018: Short positions in Kier’s shares rocket as hedge funds bet against the contractor in the run-up to its end of year results

1 August 2018: Two Kier directors leave the business with immediate effect following the appointment of Claudio Veritiero as the new chief operating officer.