Financial News

  • 21 August 2014, 7:59

Carillion Ends Balfour Beatty Merger Chase

Carillion says it is no longer pursuing a merger with Balfour Beatty after the construction firm rejected a third offer.

Carillion, which sweetened its all-share approach on Tuesday, valuing its rival at £2.1bn, said in a statement: "The Board of Balfour Beatty has not agreed to Carillion's proposal or to request an extension to the Put Up or Shut Up deadline which expires at 5pm tomorrow.

"Carillion therefore today announces that it is no loner pursuing such a merger."

Balfour confirmed on Wednesday morning that its board had unanimously opposed the offer made by the engineering specialist, arguing that its own turnaround strategy was a better prospect for Balfour shareholders, who had been consulted.

The latest development was greeted with a deeper slide in its share price in late afternoon trading while Carillion's stock also fell further.

Carillion had said its third offer was equivalent to a 36% premium to the price at which Balfour shares traded before news of the possible merger leaked.

But Balfour cited concerns over Carillion's plans to keep Parsons Brinckerhoff, the US design and engineering firm it wants to sell, and reduce its UK construction business.

The company expects to return £200m to shareholders following the sale of the US arm.

Carillion's statement added that it reserved the right to bring a new offer under the terms of the City code on takeovers and mergers.

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