Terry Chapman leaves construction manager after failing to buy it from parent Carillion

Terry Chapman has quit as managing director of Schal, the construction management arm of Carillion, after the failure of his attempt to buy it.

Chapman this week revealed that he had put a management buyout bid to Carillion’s main board last autumn.

He said he had made the buyout attempt, which was turned down by Carillion, as a result of his frustration at how the firm related to the Carillion group.

He said his attempts to reposition Schal in 2003 by splitting it into five divisions proved difficult. He said: “The construction management market had been in decline for some time so I felt we needed to go both upstream to contracting and downstream to project management. Unfortunately I was constrained from doing that.”

Chapman gave the example of work that Schal had won under the NHS LIFT programme, which was subsequently transferred to Carillion.

Chapman insisted that his departure from Carillion was “relatively friendly”, despite the failed buyout.

He added that he had been offered alternative posts within Carillion, which he had turned down. He said: “The geography of the firm is edging more towards the Midlands and the North. When you live in Kent, geography is a factor. Also, they were not challenging positions, not forward steps.

He said he was pursuing offers for new posts in the sector, although he added that he was “not in a rush to make any snap decisions”.

Chapman joined Schal from Mace in 1999 and was operations director before becoming managing director in February 2003.

His most high-profile role was in Schal’s failed bid to win the £400m redevelopment of the BBC’s Broadcasting House in central London.

Schal lost out to Bovis Lend Lease after a protracted tendering process after being initially favoured by the scheme’s QS.

Chapman personally battled against the decision, repeatedly saying to the BBC that Schal’s had been the stronger tender.

Schal’s fee bid was lower than that of Bovis.

Chapman’s departure comes shortly after Schal staff were moved from the division’s Waterloo office to Carillion Building’s office in Wolverhampton in March. It is understood that the Schal brand will be still used by Carillion Building when it is appropriate.

A brief history of Schal

1981 Chicago-based Schal Associates establishes joint venture with Tarmac in the UK
1990 Schal becomes wholly-owned subsidiary of Tarmac
1996 Project management arm of Tarmac integrated into Schal
1999 Carillion demerges from Tarmac. Schal operates under Carillion umbrella