Contractor and consultant in running to buy management consulting arm of Warwickshire group

Thomas Vale and McBains Cooper have emerged as two of the companies circling PCM, the management consulting arm of Pettifer Group, which went into administration at the end of last month.

A Singapore-based project management group called Confluence is also understood to be in the frame, although a management buyout is also possible.

Pettifer failed after Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) pulled the plug on the business. KPMG, the administrator, is understood to be seeking a sale of the £10m-turnover PCM arm as a going concern. The rest of the £50m-turnover Warwickshire-based group will be broken up.

Talks over the disposal of PCM have been intense in recent days because RBS has imposed a deadline of today for the completion of the deal.

Dutch consultant Grontmij and listed UK group Baqus have pulled out of the race after previously expressing an interest, according to sources close to Pettifer.

McBains Cooper declined to comment on the speculation but a source close to the consultant, which has a turnover of £15m, confirmed that it had expressed an interest. They said: “PCM is on some decent jobs like Walbrook Square.” The scheme is a retail development in London designed by Foster + Partners and Ateliers Jean Nouvel (pictured).

However, the source added that uncertainty over whether all PCM’s projects would be assigned to the winning bidder lowered the chance of a deal.

Confluence declined to comment but a source close to the company said: “It has had a good look and is interested in doing a deal.” The firm was founded in Australia in 1991 and has been in the UK since 2005. It is working on the refurbishment of the Mandarin Oriental hotel in London.

Meanwhile Tony Hyde, managing director of £200m-turnover Midlands contractor Thomas Vale, confirmed that the company had looked at “all parts of the Pettifer Group” but said it was uncertain any deal would go ahead, without citing reasons.

The deal risks falling through if no agreement is reached by the end of today.

What PCM does


Construction management
Cost management
Risk and value management

Principal clients