Financial Times reports Interserve is mystery suitor

Interserve is in advanced talks with Mouchel over a merger, after the motorway maintenance group ignored a fresh offer from engineer Costain last week.

The tie-up with Interserve could be disclosed as early as today, the Financial Times reports.

Yesterday Costain revealed it had made four approaches to Mouchel, each time upping its offer.

The latest on the 17 February appears not to have been accepted by the Mouchel board, which yesterday revealed it was in advanced talks with another bidder.

Sources close to the deal told the Financial Times Interserve is close to announcing a “cooperation agreement” with its rival.

The deal between Interserve and Mouchel would create one of the UK’s largest public outsourcing contractors, with a combined turnover of more than £2.5bn.