Byline: Robert Lea and Nick Goodway
BALFOUR BEATTY today took a major leap forward in the US with the $626 million ([pounds sterling]380 million) takeover of Parson Brinckerhoff, a similar infrastructure projects company.
The deal will be funded through a [pounds sterling]353 million rights issue with the new shares being issued at 180p. That's just half today's share price of 361p which was up 17p on the news.
"This makes us one of the world's major players in professional services, substantially strengthens our US presence and puts Balfour Beatty in an excellent position to take advantage of increased infrastructure spending," said Ian Tyler, chief executive.
Balfour, best known in this country for major projects like the never ending roadworks on the M25 orbital motorway, already makes 30% of its revenues in the US and Tyler has been keen to grow that to take advantage of President Obama's stimulus plan to pull America out of recession.
Parson, which was founded in 1885 and has headquarters in New York, is entirely owned by its staff. Some 4750 out of 12,650 employees own shares in the company and will have to approve the deal.
Parson had revenues of $2.34 billion last year and made operating profits of $107 million. …