Rigcycle has paid £6.2m to support services group for loss-making business and will make final payments next year

Alfred McAlpine announced on Monday that it has completed the sale of its loss-making Welsh slate business for £31m in cash.

Rigcycle Limited has already paid £6.2m for the business, which operates four slate quarries in North Wales at Penrhyn, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Cwt-y-Bugail and Pen-yr-Orsedd.

It is due to pay £24.3m on 2 January 2008 and £0.5m will become payable on completion of the assignment of one of the business’ quarry leases.

In the year ended 31 December 2006, the Alfred McAlpine Welsh slate businesses contributed a loss of £13.2m to group profit before tax.

The gross assets which are subject to the disposal total £27m. The disposal will be earnings enhancing in 2008.

Separately, the proposed sale of Alfred McAlpine’s US slate business is well advanced and is expected to complete shortly.

The proceeds from both sales will be applied to reducing group indebtedness.

Earlier this month Carillion agreed a £572m deal to take over Alfred McAlpine in a move which will create a £4.7bn turnover company – the UK’s largest contracting business.