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Sat 28 Oct 2006 12:00 AM

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Multiplex paves way to end Wembley dispute

Australian construction firm Multiplex has struck a deal with Wembley National Stadium (WNSL) to end its long-running dispute over the Wembley Stadium project.

The deal avoids a potentially long and expensive legal wrangle, and both sides have now pledged to “work together to ensure that the stadium opens for business as early as possible in 2007”.

The 90,000-capacity stadium was due to open at the beginning of this year, but Multiplex announced a series of delays, resulting in the company facing penalty payments of US $225,632 (£120,000) for every day the stadium was delayed beyond its handover date, with a maximum payment of $26.6 million.

Multiplex and WNSL have agreed a streamlined process whereby the works and activities that are the responsibility of WNSL will be completed in parallel with other works.

“The financial effect of the agreement with WNSL does not alter the project loss position assumed in Multiplex’s most recent annual results,” said Neil Olofsson, assistant company secretary, Multiplex.

“As previously stated, this position remains dependent on the resolution of subcontractor claims and other third party recoveries.”

Multiplex chief executive, Andrew Roberts, said: “We are very pleased to have reached agreement with WNSL and the FA [Football Association] to put our past differences behind us and put all our joint efforts into completing Wembley Stadium at the earliest opportunity.”

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