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Morrison revealed as RMJM's £11m buyer

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RMJM chair Fraser Morrison is behind an investment outfit which bought the architecture company for £11 million last week

The purchase – which was revealed in an e-mail to shareholders – has seen £12 million worth of debt written off the troubled practice’s balance sheet.

Speaking exclusively to the AJ, chief executive of RMJM’s Europe business Jonathan French described the deal as an investment by Morrison and part of a ‘planned process’ which started in October last year when three RMJM companies were put into administration.

He said there would be ‘no significant difference’ in RMJM operations and the sale was ‘just a way of strengthening the balance sheet to allow us to see our way to profit this year.’

This week it emerged Duthus Investments had purchased RMJM Architecture, the company which bought RMJM, RMJM Scotland and RMJM London out of receivership in October last year.

Practice director Declan Thompson told shareholders of the deal in an e-mail sent just days before Easter.

In it he said: ‘Having received and accepted an unconditional cash offer of £11 million for the shares in RMJM Architecture Limited (which in turn owns all of the other significant trading operations of the RMJM Group worldwide) we have today successfully completed a transaction to sell the group’s trading subsidiaries to Duthus Investments Limited (which will shortly change its name to RMJM Group Investments Limited).’

He added: ‘Additionally, the offer will result in debt burden of over £12 million being removed from the business as it moves forward in its new structure which will facilitate the restoration and future development of the RMJM brand. The elimination of this very substantial debt level will massively assist the business, enhance its prospects and secure the employment of the talented staff.’

Explaining the deal, Thompson said although restructuring had put the group ‘on a more secure financial footing’ the company’s board ‘recognised that the business was still left with a considerable debt burden (in excess of £24 million) which was too onerous to be supported by its current level of activity.’

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