30-year-old Allesch-Taylor set to put his own man on QS' board after collapse of High-Point Rendel talks.
Entrepreneur Stefan Allesch-Taylor is expected to shake up top 10 QS MDA after takeover talks with consultant High-Point Rendel collapsed this week.

City sources say Allesch-Taylor, whose investment company STG Holdings owns a 29.75% stake in MDA, will put pressure on the board to appoint one of his staff a non-executive director within four weeks.

It is understood that Allesch-Taylor, who is 30 years old, wants his representative, a former banker, to take control of the firm’s financial and acquisition strategies.

The sources say Allesch-Taylor has already had approaches from consultants interested in buying his stake or looking for his backing to set up a merger with MDA. Allesch-Taylor was unavailable for comment.

High-Point finance director Stephen Greenwood said talks with MDA collapsed because the two firms could not agree a price, although a source close to MDA said the firm had thought price was not an issue.

Since the deal broke down, the City sources said Allesch-Taylor had revived a plan to turn MDA, still a pure QS firm, into a cradle-to-grave property services company to rival WS Atkins.

Allesch-Taylor bought £1m of MDA shares in May 1999 with a view to influencing its strategy. However, his interest was thought to have waned in the second half of last year as he focused on buying a US Internet business and relisting his property company as an investment firm. The sources said the High-Point talks revived his interest.

High-Point has been under pressure to improve its share price and a spokesperson said it was still keen to buy consultancy businesses in the capital projects sector.

MDA has struggled in recent years. It made a pre-tax profit of £189 000 in the year to 30 June 1999 after suffering a £355 000 loss the previous year.

One rival consultant said MDA would need to find a merger partner soon, to compete with the growing number of QS firms diversifying into facilities management and property consultancy.