December 20, 2017 / 7:46 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-British builder Carillion moves start date for CEO Davies forward

(Adds details, background)

Dec 20 (Reuters) - Carillion has moved the start date for new chief executive Andrew Davies forward to Jan. 22 from April 2, the British builder said on Wednesday.

Davies, head of family-owned builder Wates Group and formerly with defence company BAE Systems, will replace interim CEO Keith Cochrane.

Cochrane will step down from his role as interim CEO, and from the Board, but will remain with Carillion as an advisor for some time to ensure an orderly transition, it said.

The change in appointment date comes after the company said it was heading towards a breach of debt covenants and needed fresh capital.

Carillion is fighting for its survival after costly contract delays and a downturn in new business.

The company is involved in major infrastructure projects for the British and other governments.

Its CEO quit in July and it issued its third profit warning in five months in November.

Davies’ biggest task at Carillion will be to reduce its large debt pile which analysts estimate, including provisions, pensions and accounts payable, at about 1.5 billion pounds ($2.01 billion).

Davies has been CEO at Wates Group since 2014. The company reported a more than 20 percent rise in 2016 turnover to 1.5 billion pounds.

During his 28-year career with BAE, Davies held many roles, including serving as managing director of its Maritime and Land Systems businesses.

Chairman Philip Green said Davies had the “ideal combination of commerciality, operational expertise and relevant sector experience” that Carillion would need to turn around its business.

$1 = 0.7467 pounds Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely

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