Turner & Townsend’s shelved flotation cost the consultant £1m, City sources say.

The group postponed plans to list last week amid concerns over poor market valuations.

One source said: “In addition to the cash the problem is the massive tie-up of management time, which can be colossal. It can take up a third of management’s time over six months.”

A T&T spokesperson refused to comment on the fees or the management time taken up on the deal but said the cost was “very easily absorbable”.

He said: “The business has never been in better shape. More importantly, this is a deferment so all the work done hasn’t been written off.”

City sources said the impact of the credit crunch had halved its initial valuation of £200m. They said an earlier profit/earnings ratio of 17 had dropped to 9, giving a value of £105m.

Another source said: “The problem in the market is volatility not weakness. After six or seven stable weeks it might be opportune to strike again while the iron’s hot.”

The share prices of consultants Cyril Sweett and Baqus have both fared badly since they floated. Cyril Sweett’s shares have fallen from £1.10 when it listed in October to 81p this week and shares in Baqus were trading at 9.25p, down from its listing price of 12.25p in December.