Builders rejig boards

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BOARDROOM shake-ups in the building industry continued yesterday as Tarmac and Costain announced the departure of directors, writes Heather Connon.

Tom Slee, Costain's finance director, is leaving after seven years with the group, while two new directors - Tom Parker, head of its US coal business, and Peter Hill, head of the housing division - have been appointed to the board.

Costain plunged to a pounds 69.2m loss last year, largely because of provisions against housing land and property bought at the top of the market in the 1980s. Its debts have also soared to pounds 292m, more than its shareholders' funds, forcing it to sell its Australian mining business, one of the most productive assets in the group.

Bryan Baker, deputy chairman of Tarmac, resigned yesterday. He was group managing director for nine years until Neville Simms was appointed chief executive in February. He reaches 60 next month and a company spokesman said he had long intended to retire then.