AMEC has agreed terms for the sale of AMEC Spie to a new company controlled by private equity firm PAI.

The £707m sale was expected to be completed last month, with AMEC to record an exceptional profit on disposal of £295m which will be used to pay down debt.

AMEC Spie Chairman Jean Monville will then step down from the board to concentrate on running Spie, which has rail activities in France and Britain.

’We are delighted with the result of the sale of AMEC Spie, which generates an exceptional gain of £295m after tax’, said Sir Peter Mason, Chief Executive of AMEC.

After charges, ’the sale and the aggregate exceptional gain of £230m after tax in 2006 gives AMEC flexibility for future investment whilst also allowing consideration of a return of capital to shareholders. We believe that the charges we are taking allow us to draw a line under previously announced business closures.’