Ex-Jarvis boss buys waste treatment specialist to exploit boom in reclaiming contaminated brownfield land

Paris Moayedi, former Jarvis chief executive, is making a shock return to the construction industry after acquiring a company that helps contractors recycle and reuse site waste.

Moayedi has bought Oxfordshire-based Tetronics through his trading company Select Investments. He is now planning to exploit his contacts and experience in construction to re-enter the market.

Tetronics specialises in “high temperature DC plasma arc technology”. This technique can be used to treat contaminated soil and produces valuable by-products, including an alternative to quarried aggregates.

Tetronics operates worldwide, with business in Japan and the Far East. It also has expertise in research and development.

A source close to Moayedi said he had seen a niche market and was now actively hoping to win business by establishing joint ventures with groundwork contractors.

The source said one option for Moayedi would be to exploit the huge development potential within the Thames Gateway. Large areas may be contaminated and would require specialist treatment.

The source said: “Paris believes that with his construction contacts he can market Tetronics to groundwork firms and other specialist contractors.”

He added that another option open to Moayedi would be to acquire his own groundwork contractor or specialist decontamination firm and re-enter the construction sector directly.

He now has the technology and the contacts. Now all he needs is the capacity to pull it off

Source close to Moayedi

He said: “It’s the logical next step. He now has the technology and science, and he already has the knowledge and contacts. Now all he needs is the capacity to pull it off.”

A leading groundwork contractor agreed they needed to tie up with technology companies to become more environmentally friendly.

He said: “It is a great source of advantage to be able to demonstrate you are an environmentally friendly business. Everybody is getting pressure from the government to prove you are efficient in waste handling. Paris won’t have any shortage of takers for his product.”

Moayedi’s acquisition is the latest twist in a colourful career (see box below). Last November, he quit as chief executive of PFI contractor Jarvis with a reported £500,000 payoff. He hit the headlines again last week when it emerged that Jarvis directors had received more than £800,000 in bonuses for the year to March 2003, which were withheld in the wake of the Potters Bar rail crash in May 2002.

Moayedi received £260,000 after the company’s remuneration committee decided to pay the bonus even though Jarvis has not been cleared of responsibility for the fatal accident in Hertfordshire.

Les Liddiard, Tetronics chief executive, confirmed the deal but referred inquiries to Moayedi’s office.

Moayedi was unavailable for comment.

The life and times of Paris Moayedi

1988 Paris Moayedi resigns from contractor Walter Lawrence to co-found contractor Team Services.

1994 Moayedi resigns in April as chief executive of Team Services, which subsequently goes into administration. Later that year, he joins Jarvis as chief executive.

1995 Acquires the construction subsidiaries of Shanks & McEwan and, in 1996, Northern Infrastructure Maintenance Company from British Rail.

2002 Moayedi faces a backlash over the Potters Bar rail disaster in May. Shortly afterwards, he takes over as Jarvis chairman.

2003 Network Rail strips Jarvis of its rail maintenance contracts. Moayedi resigns in November with reported payoff of £500,000.

September 2004 The controversy continues as it emerges that Moayedi received a bonus from Jarvis of £260,000 for the 12 months ending March 2003, the year of the Potters Bar rail crash. Moayedi buys waste treatment specialist Tetronics.